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 10,000 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 2020, 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.
SAU-MSI explores market for future running of Frame
The Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI) has today issued a call for expressions of interest (CEI) concerning the running of a business centre, catering and co-working space and auditorium in Frame, the future ‘media centre’ of mediapark.brussels.
The CEI does not yet focus on awarding contracts for the running of these parts of the building, with a floor space of some 10,000 m2, which the SAU-MSI will construct on land it owns at the corner of Boulevard Reyers and Rue Colonel Bourg. It represents a preliminary phase designed to take close account of developments in the relevant fields in order to define optimal operating conditions with a view to launching a suitable public tender in the next phase.
The winner of the call for project designers organised by the SAU-MSI for the construction of the ‘media centre’ was announced in March (more information HERE). This will be one of the first new structures and a flagship building in mediapark.brussels. Frame will house the regional television channel BX1, screen.brussels, the IHECS Academy, the Brussels Video Centre and the various activities and facilities to which this CEI relates:
- an innovation platform dedicated to the media/audiovisual sector, and consisting of a co-working space and a business centre;
- a catering outlet open to the public on the ground floor;
- shared facilities, including an auditorium that can also be used as a theatre and screening room.
The deadline for the receipt of expressions of interest is 15 September 2018 at 11 am.
More information HERE.
Frame, the winning design in the architectural competition for media house
The design by the consortium Baukunst (Brussels) - Bruther (Paris), winner of the call for project designers organised by the Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI) for the construction of ‘Media House’ in mediapark.brussels, was presented today by the architects and the four main future occupants, in the presence of Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Didier Gosuin, Regional Minister for the Economy and Employment, and Fadila Laanan, Minister-President of the French-speaking Brussels government.
The building, with a floor space of some 10,000 m2, will be constructed at the corner of Boulevard Reyers and Rue Colonel Bourg, on land belonging to the SAU-MSI.
It will house:
- regional television channel BX1;
- the IHECS Academy;
- the Brussels Video Centre;
- an innovation platform dedicated to the media/audiovisual sector, and consisting of a co-working space and a business center;
- a catering outlet open to the public on the ground floor;
- shared facilities, including an auditorium that can also be used as a theatre and screening room.
The construction budget amounts to 16 million euros excluding VAT, financed by the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). COCOF has earmarked nearly 3 million euros for the redeployment of BX1 in mediapark.brussels.
The SAU-MSI and the four main future occupants have decided to name the building Frame (Brussels media community).
- Frame refers to:
- the camera frame in visual media;
- the frame in web design;
- the framework provided by the building for the development of a media-oriented ecosystem;
- the shape and structure of the main façade looking towards Diamant;
- the ‘window’ onto mediapark.brussels that this building will be.
- Brussels media community:
- expresses the Brussels character, shared ambition and media specialisation of the dynamic and open ecosystem that form the basis for this collective project.
A showcase for mediapark.brussels
Frame will be one of the first new buildings in mediapark.brussels – a flagship building in this new creative Brussels district dedicated to the media. Its architectural quality will both attract other users and set a standard for future elements of this ambitious urban project.
The architects are now working on the definitive design. The SAU-MSI plans to submit the planning application in July 2018 and to start work in 2019. The building should be finished and ready for its occupants to move in by 2021.
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’. Frame, incidentally, will be the first Belgian public/private/academic collaborative platform dedicated to the media, the audiovisual sector and communication. Frame will thus position itself as the integrator for media, audiovisual and communication professionals in Brussels.
Reconfiguring a district to reinforce an ecosystem
Minister-President Rudi Vervoort: ‘Frame will clearly contribute to the Brussels-Capital Region’s determination to reinforce its media and communication ecosystem. It will do so by taking advantage of RTBF and VRT's decision to vacate much of the 20-hectare site they occupy today and redeploy their activities to two new headquarters, to be constructed over the next few years just behind their current shared building. In September 2017, the Region purchased the public broadcasters’ site. Around the future new headquarters of the VRT (55,000 m²) and the RTBF (38,000 m²), it will organise the gradual development of 2,000 to 2,500 future new homes, premises for new companies in the media and communication sectors (30,000 m²), local facilities (shops, a school, a crèche, etc.), an 8-hectare park and so on. Building will take place on more than 300,000 m² in total, and the connection to neighbouring districts will be restored by removing the fences around the public broadcasters’ current site.’
Regional Minister for the Economy and Employment Didier Gosuin: ‘The Brussels media sector alone employs around 16,000 people and generates 40% of the net added value produced by the sector in Belgium. A very significant part of these activities is concentrated in the Reyers-Meiser district, which numbers some 60 businesses and 5,000 media workers. The importance of fostering this dynamic sector is therefore clear – not just in terms of providing funding for audiovisual productions, but also in terms of supporting all those involved in this economic sector, especially businesses. This is the role of the screen.brussels cluster.’
Fadila Laanan, Minister-President of the French-speaking Brussels government (COCOF): ‘COCOF has decided to grant nearly 3 million euros for the redeployment of the Brussels Region’s French-language TV channel BX1 in mediapark.brussels. This was an unmissable opportunity to position this key actor in the Brussels context within this integrated cluster. The integration of BX1 in this project will enable numerous links to be developed with partners in the sector, but will also encourage synergies and economies of scale in the use of resources and development of new projects. BX1’s values are based on its public service mission of broadcasting informative TV programmes and promoting the cultural development, education and participation of the population. I’m delighted to give it this opportunity to contribute to the ecosystem being created in Frame with these values which are dear to me.’
A Belgian-French team selected from among the 51 applications
Gilles Delforge, Director of the SAU-MSI: ‘I’m delighted by the great interest elicited by the architectural competition for this flagship building of mediapark.brussels. By April 2017, we had received 51 high-quality applications in response to the call for project designers. Some of these multidisciplinary teams were Belgian, others come from various other European countries including France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands, and others still were international consortia of firms from these countries. This demonstrates the attention that has been attracted by the development of mediapark.brussels, of which Frame will become a showcase. The SAU-MSI is also delighted by the excellent collaboration with the four main future occupants, whose needs it will make every effort to take into account in its role as project manager.’
The following multidisciplinary team has been selected from among the 51 applications received by the SAU-MSI:
Bureau d'études Pierre Berger
Building services engineering Energy performance coordination
Georges Brutsaert architects Sprl
Safety and health coordination
Gielen Bjorn landinzicht GCV
Le roi nu sprl
Belgian architect Adrien Verschuere, founder of the firm BAUKUNST: ‘My design explores the presence of the image and of information exposing our contemporary society, its future development and the paradigm shifts that these things are causing. Engaged in an inexorable process of dematerialisation, this media environment has a paradoxical need to affirm and manifest its presence. The design is enriched by this paradox of making tangible the presence of content focused on intangibility.
Our proposal supports this exploration using the tools available to a city and its architecture, reflecting both the permanence of the environment created by the design and the versatility with which it will be inhabited. It offers an ambitious living environment and creates synergies within a space intended for a multiple community, open to future needs in both urban planning and architectural terms.
These considerations have translated into a strong contribution that affirms the visibility of a developing activity and a site while constituting a flexible exchange platform suitable for use by anyone. In addition to its relative neutrality, the project offers a context for the diversity of its urban setting as well as the range of different activities that it accommodates and will welcome in the future.’
French architects Alexandre Theriot and Stéphanie Bru, founders of the Parisian firm BRUTHER: ‘The Baukunst-Bruther collaboration for Media House in Brussels follows on from major projects such as the new life sciences building on the UNIL-EPFL campus in Lausanne (CH) or the construction of a student residence on the Saclay campus in Palaiseau (FR). With strong common values and obvious complementarity, our Franco-Belgian collaboration is enriched by its international nature; using a two-country approach to designing and building Media House in Brussels automatically reinforces the European character of this building.
In an urban environment undergoing rapid revival, the building sets up a subtle dialogue with its site to become an architectural figure that symbolises a creative district. Symbolising a versatile and ever-changing sector, the building ensures its own long-term relevance by offering great flexibility, in particular through the use of enormous, open-plan, modular spaces. We had to imagine a confluence point, a gathering place for ideas, dreams, investors and visitors; to create a place for multiple purposes and interdisciplinary exchanges; to conceptualise Media House as a place of expression, growth and freedom.’
Frame’s Brussels ‘Fab Four’
Marc de Haan, director-general of BX1: ‘Moving into this place, this building, was an obvious step for BX1, which now sees its building as a blank slate on which it can write, rub out and rewrite new approaches to producing media content.’
The director-general of screen.brussels, Noël Magis: ‘One of the challenges of the Frame building is to develop an architecture and facilities that encourage new social interactions between the various actors in the sector. By facilitating the project-based mode of operation as much as possible, it will make it possible to create innovative solutions and content inspired by this new way of working together.’
The managing director of IHECS, Jean-François Raskin: ‘This location is ideal for the IHECS Academy, because the centre for continuing training and research at IHECS is at the forefront of the latest advances in communication and information. Its specific contribution is to offer training centred on the concrete, on the practical, on working realities. And to be responsive to a world of communication that is changing, to technological upheavals that call for greater affirmation of the human factor.’
Michel Steyaert, director of the Brussels Video Centre (CVB): ‘The CVB’s presence alongside BX1, screen.brussels and the IHECS training centre in the Frame project makes sense given our concern, at the very heart of our activity, with bringing together different approaches and sectors, with working on social issues particularly in evidence in big cities, with exploring the power of the image and its relationship with reality, with giving citizen-spectators a high-quality tool with which to consider their relationship with their immediate and more distant environment.’
Frame and mediapark.brussels at MIPIM 2018
This year, mediapark.brussels will be the theme of the annual major event organised at MIPIM by the Brussels-Capital Region, the traditional ‘Breakfast in Brussels’, attended by several hundred real estate professionals. The shared public and private ambitions for mediapark.brussels will be discussed on Thursday 15 March at a session entitled ‘mediapark.brussels: investment opportunities, public projects and private involvement in Brussels’ future new creative district’. More information: www.sau-msi.brussels.
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