The Building for Brussels program aims to feed the debate on urban development in Brussels, gather new expertise and engage the general public in the transformation of their city. Brussels is facing enormous demographic growth, unemployment, mobility problems and a shortage of public facilities such as schools or sports infrastructure. Building For Brussels maps out Brussels' major societal challenges and investigates how architecture and urban planning can offer an answer.





The Building for Brussels program started in 2010 as part of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. As custodian of the Building for Brussels exhibition, the Brussels-Capital Region invited Architecture Workroom Brussels to the Centre for Fine Arts.

The exhibition claims that a powerful architectural and urban development policy can offer an answer to social problems. In the search for solutions, Building for Brussels focuses on other major European metropolises. In recent years, cities such as Madrid, Zurich, Hamburg or Rotterdam have implemented an energetic policy to modernize the city and make it more liveable. Based on scale models, films, plans and photographs, the exhibition shows a selection of projects by Rem Koolhaas / Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Peter Zumthor, MVRDV, Lacaton & Vassal, Christ & Gantenbein and Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen. At the same time, the exhibition examines the possible significance of these visions and projects for the most important Brussels challenges.

Parallel to the exhibition, a series of round table discussions was set up in collaboration with the State Secretary for Urban Development, Emir Kir. The workshops put five metropolitan challenges of Brussels on the agenda: 
1. How do we translate the housing shortage into a strategic future project?
2. How can public facilities transform the city?
3. How can architecture support the local economy?
4. How do we integrate the mobility infrastructure into the urban fabric?
5. What shape do we give to the city of tomorrow?
In addition, the workshops always questioned the role that architecture and urbanism can play in this. Key figures of urban development processes from all over Europe exchanged their expertise and shared their opinion with Brussels actors.





Type: exhibition

Year: 2010

Client: Brussels Capital Region

Coproduction: BOZAR

Curator: Architecture Workroom Brussels

Media partner: A+ Belgian Journal of Architecture

Exhibited practices: Alexandre Chemetoff, Christ & Gantenbein, Xaveer De Geyter, EM2N, FOA, Édouard François, Grafton Architects, Zaha Hadid, KCAP, Rem Koolhaas, Lacaton & Vassal, Jean Nouvel, Phalt Architekten, Bernardo Secchi, Peter Zumthor and many others

Graphic design: Prem Krishnamurthy and Chris Wu, Wkshps, New York

Exhibition architecture: V+, Brussels