Architecture Workroom

Guide plan—Brussels canal

Today, the Brussels Canal Zone faces huge social and economic challenges. Architecture Workroom is guiding the Brussels-Capital Region in developing the 'Canal Master Plan': an overarching vision for the zone intended to direct the present developments in the Canal Zone.

Today, the Brussels-Capital Region is faced with a number of difficult social, ecological, and economic challenges. The area is undergoing substantial population growth, and in the coming ten years, some 70,000 new residences must be built. At the same time, unemployment in the region is high. And on top of all of this, the region is trying to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions via the greening of mobility and urban development. These are precisely the regional challenges that are clearly faced in the Canal Zone. Because it is here that unemployment among youth is at one of the highest levels in Europe, here that we find a major influx of newcomers, and here also that we find a lack of urban cohesion due to disappearing industry.

Yet the Canal Zone also has great potential. Despite its high unemployment, the gross domestic product of the region places it among the four richest in Europe. And now that the centre of the city is moving further toward the canal zone, we are seeing more initiatives to develop parts of the zone. Since the territory of the Canal Zone is located in seven different municipalities, however, it is difficult to arrive at an integrated approach. The present resources allocated to spatial planning appear inadequate to working at such a large scale. Thus there is a need for a new overarching vision capable of guiding present developments.

Planning for an inclusive, productive city

The region is addressing this challenge by formulating the Canal Master Plan, a coherent urban plan for the entire Canal Zone. The emphasis of this plan lies not on defining a single desirable end state for the future of the Canal Zone. Rather, a process is being sought with new methods, studies, and scenarios in which a new strategy can be developed together. The Brussels-Capital Region has invited three multidisciplinary teams to devise such strategies to develop the possibilities present in the Canal Zone. One of these teams will be selected for the further development of the plan.

The three teams are:

Groupement Alexandre Chemetoff & Associés
A team consisting of: Alexandre Chemetoff & Associés (mandatary), Idea Consult and Ecorem.

A team consisting of: XDGA - Xaveer de Geyter Architects (mandatary), Michel Desvignes Landscape Architects, Tritel and Prof. Dr. Eric Corijn.

Canal Catalyst
A team consisting of: DeZwarteHond (mandatary), Studio UC, Lola,
Movares, Michiel Dehaene and Sofie Vermeulen.


Brussels, ongoing, think tank


The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
Delta Atelier document
Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
Transition— Learning, living, working in 2050
Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
You Are Here - Brussels
Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
Urbanising in Place— Building the Food-Water-Energy nexus
IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
Antwerp— Mapping the shift of metropolitan phenomena in Berchem extra muros
Publication— Designing the Future
CS Genk— Campus Bret 21st century learning landscape
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— and test site M4H
IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks
Regional Call IABR-Atelier OVK— Help shape the future of the East Flanders Core region
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia
Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
THE MISSING LINK— Curator Statement, Research Agenda and Call for Practices
Atelier Zennevallei
Urban Intervention — BRIDGE
Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
Lecture and Debate — Fitting More Industry In
Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020
A Whole World to Win— Floris Alkemade in conversation with Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck
Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
Atelier Kortrijk 2025— Innovative urban development strategy
Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
Guide plan—Brussels canal
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.