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LOCATION / Brussels, Belgium

CLIENT / SPF Mobility and Transport

AREA / 200 000 sqm above ground

PROGRAM / Public space

PROJECT / 1994 - 2005

STATUS / Built 2005

The major infrastructure works and the property development projects spawned by the arrival of high-speed trains at the Gare du Midi made it necessary to completely re-design the roads and public spaces around the station (an area of almost 20 hectares). Despite the neglected condition of these surroundings, the neighbourhood has always remained very lively due to the hustle and bustle of the station, but also due to the weekly market and an annual funfair. The approach adopted by the architects reconciled high-quality development with greater accessibility to the station by all modes of transport, without overlooking the important role of the local roads for traffic at regional level. Besides large esplanades free of cars, there are visible sites for the various public transport operators, which in most cases have specially reserved sites. Hundreds of trees, subtle planning, quality materials and the careful integration of artists’ work with all these other aspects, give this station district a new appeal. When the property development is completed, the Gare du Midi quarter will rival the most beautiful neighbourhoods in the heart of Brussels.

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