The SAU: Frame’s project owner

This iconic mediapark.brussels building will be built by the Urban Development Corporation

The Urban Development Corporation of the Brussels-Capital Region (sau-msi.brussels) is a key public tool for urban development in Brussels.

It is responsible for carrying out major urban development projects (mediapark.brussels, Usquare.brussels, Josaphat…) and constructing public facilities of regional significance to meet the needs and aspirations of Brussels’ population (construction of ‘LE CHAT cartoon museum’; restoration of the historic buildings of the former Uccle-Boitsfort Hippodrome; steering of the initial phase prior to the conversion of the Citroën-Yser garage into a museum of modern and contemporary art…).

Frame media centre, which the SAU will build on land it owns at the corner of Boulevard Reyers and Rue Colonel Bourg, thus lies at the intersection between its two missions.

An ecosystem building

Gilles Delforge, director of the SAU, explains that: ‘Frame will be one of the first new edifices of mediapark.brussels – 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 building, with a floor space of some 9,000 m2, will contain a multifunctional ecosystem – a microcosm of what mediapark.brussels will ultimately be like. In addition to its three main occupants (BX1 regional television channel, screen.brussels and the IHECS Academy), it will also host an innovation platform including a co-working space and a business centre dedicated to the media/audiovisual sector, a catering outlet open to the public, and shared facilities, including an auditorium that can be used as a theatre or as a projection room.

Incidentally, the name chosen for the building by the SAU and the three 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.

51 applications

The Baukunst (Brussels) - Bruther (Paris) consortium of architecture practices was selected following the call for project designers organised by the SAU in 2017. Gilles Delforge: ‘I’m very pleased by the great interest elicited by the architectural competition: we 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. This demonstrates the attention that has been attracted by the development of mediapark.brussels.’ 

The SAU’s director is also delighted by ‘the excellent collaboration with the main future occupants, whose needs we will make every effort to take into account in our role as project manager.’

European funding

The construction budget is financed by the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The French Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region has also earmarked nearly 3 million euros for the redeployment of BX1.

The SAU plans to start work in 2021. The building should be finished and ready for its occupants to move in by 2023. 

More information: www.sau-msi.brussels