SAU seeks team to consider the conversion of Reyers Tower
The RTBF and VRT transmission tower’s construction in 1979 was a feat of architectural engineering, and the structure has been an iconic landmark in the Brussels cityscape for over 40 years. With its circular saucer 34 metres across and 16 metres deep placed on a central pillar 73 metres high, it has a total height of 89 metres.
However, technological developments mean that it is no longer required for its original purpose. The Urban Development Corporation (SAU), which is coordinating the development of mediapark.brussels around the future new RTBF and VRT headquarters, is therefore launching a call for expressions of interest in conjunction with the Region’s Chief Architect, with a view to appointing an architectural team to consider the conversion of Reyers Tower.
Mission details, timing, conditions, etc.: https://bma.brussels/en/2020/06/11/call-reyers/
SAU obtains planning permission for FRAME, the showcase for mediapark.brussels
The Urban Development Corporation (SAU) has obtained planning permission for the construction of the FRAME building, the future showcase for mediapark.brussels.
Gilles Delforge, the director of the SAU, underlines that ‘This is an important step in the development of mediapark.brussels, where Frame will be one of the first new structures. Because of its location, at the corner of Boulevard Reyers and Rue Colonel Bourg in Schaerbeek, it will also be a flagship building in this new creative Brussels district dedicated to the media. Given the integration of various operators and multiple functions and services within the same building, it will also be a kind of “miniature mediapark.brussels” – a showcase for the new district.’
The new construction plans represent a gross area of around 9,000 m², and will be financed by the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The SAU plans to start work in 2021. The building should be finished and ready for its occupants to move in by 2023.
An ecosystem building for BX1, the IHECS Academy and others
The name chosen for the building by the SAU and the main future occupants, Frame - Brussels media community, refers to the ‘framework’ provided by the building for the development of a media-oriented ecosystem. It also alludes to the shape and structure of its main façade looking towards Diamant; to the ‘window’ onto mediapark.brussels that it will be; to the camera frame in visual media; and to the frame in web design.
The building will contain a multifunctional ecosystem – a microcosm of what mediapark.brussels will ultimately be like. Among other things, it will house the Region’s French-language TV channel BX1, the IHECS Academy (the centre for continuing training attached to the Institute for Higher Social Communication Studies), screen.brussels, an innovation platform, various shared facilities and an auditorium.
Regional ambitions for architecture and the media
‘Having demolished the Reyers viaduct and transformed public spaces, we are now working to stabilise and develop the media activity that’s essential to our Region’s economic development. With Frame we are providing a multi-purpose building that’s also a showcase for the sector. The Baukunst (Brussels) - Bruther (Paris) consortium of architecture firms was eventually selected following the call for project designers organised by the SAU in 2017. The architectural competition elicited great interest: the SAU received 51 applications, proving that Brussels is of interest to architects all over the world,’ commented Pascal Smet, the Brussels Region’s Secretary of State for Urban Development.
The Minister-President of Brussels, Rudi Vervoort, welcomed the obtaining of planning permission, ‘because Frame reflects the Brussels-Capital Region’s determination to reinforce its media and communication ecosystem in the Brussels region. FRAME represents the first milestone in the development of a pioneering project which will both boost the local area’s attractiveness and offer a habitat for start-ups and developing businesses. In this new creative district, the Region will gradually develop 2,000 to 2,500 new homes, local amenities and an 8-hectare park, representing a total built area of more than 300,000 m² which will be connected to neighbouring districts.’
Permission granted for new RTBF headquarters
An important step in the development of mediapark.brussels has just been taken. The office of the Brussels Region’s Secretary of State for Urban Development, Pascal Smet, has confirmed that planning permission has been granted for the future RTBF headquarters.
The 38,0002 building will be located to the rear of those currently occupied by RTBF and VRT on Boulevard Reyers, and hence at the heart of the brand-new diverse district mediapark.brussels.
The six-storey square building will be fitted with equipment and infrastructure in line with current media requirements. Jean-Paul Philippot, the general director of RTBF, has commented on this on the public broadcaster’s website: ‘The construction of this new Mediasquare building will give RTBF a new working tool whose durability and modularity make it effective. Its architecture will place a strong emphasis on glazed spaces and demonstrate our desire for openness. The ergonomic, user-friendly, well-lit environment will promote exchange, cooperation and creativity within the organisation. The important technical equipment component and the implementation of a new IT infrastructure will ensure that the production capacity is 100% digital.’
The works will start in spring 2020, with the building expected to be ready for use in 2024.
VRT also intends to build its headquarters on the site, but has not yet finalised its plans.
The SAU presents mediapark.brussels at the Media Fast Forward 2019 trade fair
On Thursday 12 December, the SAU will be present at the Media Fast Forward trade fair, organised by VRT at The Egg (17 Rue Bara, 1070 Brussels).
Together with screen.brussels, it will present the media centre Frame and mediapark.brussels.
Practical information: www.mediafastforward.be
Public procurement procedure for the construction of Frame, the showcase for mediapark.brussels
The Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI) has published a European public procurement notice with a view to appointing the general contractor responsible for the construction of FRAME, the future showcase building for mediapark.brussels.
Frame will be one of the first new structures of mediapark.brussels, at the corner of Boulevard Reyers and Rue Colonel Bourg in Schaerbeek. It will be a flagship building in this new creative Brussels district dedicated to the media. Given the integration of various operators and multiple functions and services within the same building, it will also be a showcase for mediapark.brussels, a kind of ‘miniature mediapark.brussels’.
The new construction plans represent a gross area of around 9,000 m², and will be partly financed by the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The planning application procedure is currently taking place. The SAU-MSI plans to start the work in 2021, and the building should be finished and ready for its occupants to move in in 2023.
- The contract notice is available on www.publicprocurement.be.
An ecosystem building
The name chosen for the building by the SAU-MSI and the main future occupants, Frame - Brussels media community, refers to the ‘framework’ provided by the building for the development of a media-oriented ecosystem. It also alludes to the shape and structure of its main façade looking towards Diamant; to the ‘window’ onto mediapark.brussels that it will be; to the camera frame in visual media; and to the frame in web design.
The building will contain a multifunctional ecosystem – a microcosm of what mediapark.brussels will ultimately be like. Among other things, it will house the Region’s French-language TV channel BX1, the IHECS Academy (the centre for continuing training attached to the Institute for Higher Social Communication Studies), an innovation platform, various shared facilities and an auditorium.
Architecture on display
The Baukunst (Brussels) - Bruther (Paris) consortium of architecture firms was eventually selected following the call for project desi²gners organised by the SAU-MSI in 2017. The architectural competition elicited great interest: the SAU-MSI received 51 high-quality applications submitted by multidisciplinary teams – some from Belgium and others from various European countries – as well as consortia from several countries.
With items on display including an enormous and impressive scale model, Frame features prominently in the exhibition dedicated to the work of Baukunst which is on at the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) until 5 January 2020.
mediapark.brussels attends IBC show in Amsterdam
This year, hub.brussels, screen.brussels and the Urban Development Corporation are presenting the new creative district, mediapark.brussels, at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), which is being held in Amsterdam from 13 to 17 September.
IBC describes itself as ‘the world’s most influential media, entertainment and technology show’.
In 2018, IBC attracted more than 55,000 attendees from 150 countries, and more than 1,700 key technology suppliers participated as exhibitors. This year, the IBC conference programme features more than 400 speakers.
Frame celebrated in exhibition at Bozar
Frame, the media centre in mediapark.brussels project-managed by the SAU-MSI, will feature in the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of the Brussels architecture firm Baukunst.
The exhibition ‘Performance & Performativity’ will run at the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) from 25 September 2019 to 5 January 2020. Moving models, photographs, videos and various installations will illustrate Baukunst's recent work.
Adrien Verschuere’s inaugural lecture and the private viewing of the exhibition will take place at 7 pm and 8.30 pm on 24 September.
After gaining professional experience at various internationally renowned firms, Adrien Verschuere founded Baukunst in Brussels in 2008. In 2017, Baukunst’s first two constructed projects, the La Fraineuse sports centre in Spa and the Garden of the Four Winds in Molenbeek, were nominated for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award for architecture. In 2018, Baukunst and the French firm Bruther were joint winners of the competition for Frame, the media centre of mediapark.brussels, in Schaerbeek.
More information here.
HELB chooses architect for its new audiovisual school
A new stage in the development of mediapark.brussels has just been completed. The university college HELB (Haute école libre de Bruxelles) has recently named the firm B-architecten as the winner of the competition for the design of its new main building to be constructed on Rue Colonel Bourg in Schaerbeek, to the east of the future new headquarters of the RTBF.
The RTBF’s current buildings on Boulevard Reyers have housed HELB’s audiovisual technology departments for some time now. As the national broadcaster will be relocating to a new building at the heart of mediapark.brussels in a few years’ time, HELB also wanted to construct a new central building for the use of its students in image techniques, photography and film. The move represents a great opportunity for the institution to maintain its close ties with the RTBF while establishing a very visible presence as a key player in the new district dedicated to the media.
HELB's new building will include educational facilities such as auditoria, classrooms, sound and photography studios and projection and editing rooms, as well as a cafeteria, a library and various administrative services. HELB aims to build premises which are efficient and functional, but also pleasant for students and teachers to use. In addition, it wants to be open to the city and the local area in order to encourage exchanges with neighbouring media companies, as this will contribute significantly to the achievement of its educational aims.
The plans by B-Architecten won the competition launched in August 2018 because they most closely met important requirements defined in the specifications, such as ensuring optimal acoustic and lighting conditions, openness to the surrounding area and becoming a key player in mediapark.brussels.
The estimated budget for the work at the launch of the call for projects was 7,500,000 euros excluding VAT.
The Chief Architect of the Brussels-Capital Region has just published a fact sheet on the subject of this contest, which is available free of charge on his website.
‘Frame – Brussels media community’ brochure
The SAU-MSI has published a brochure on the Frame media centre, which it is to build as part of mediapark.brussels.
This document can be downloaded free of charge via this link.
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