The redevelopment of an iconic building in the centre of Brussels, on the corner of Place de la Bourse and Boulevard Anspach, had been granted the planning permit by the Brussels Region.
The name of the project is The Dome, after the building’s impressive copper roof dome. Developer team VDD Project Development en Vervoordt r.e. was chosen to transform the old edifice into a multifunctional building with retailers, restaurants, offices and apartments.
Our decision to qualitatively redesign the central avenues and give them back to the people was one of the best decisions in Brussels in recent decades. We are bringing back the former grandeur of the central avenues.Pascal Smet, Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage
1. History of The Dome
The Dome was called “Les Grands Magasins de la Bourse” (the great stores of the stock exchange) when it was built in the 1870s and housed Belgium’s first department store. In 1948, the building suffered heavy damage in a fire and in 1970 it was converted into an office and retail building and renamed “Bourse Center”.
The Brussels Region sold the building in 2018 with the aim of bringing back its soul and giving it a multifunctional use. The Brussels Urban Development Corporation “SAU” launched a call for the sale with conditions to be met by the building’s future development. VDD Project Development and Vervoordt r.e. was selected from 16 applicants by urban.brussels, Brussels’ Chief Architect, the City of Brussels and SAU.
The Dome project will continue the revalorisation of the historic city centre, through a high-quality, attractive architecture and programme that will define the experience of the entire area.Johan Vandendriessche, managing partner VDD Project Development
VDD’s strong vision of a qualitative and sustainable future for this historic building helped convince the jurors they are the right fit for this project. During the project preparation, the building was given a temporary use with, among others, coworking spaces, artists’ studios and a rooftop terrace.
“Our decision to qualitatively redesign the central avenues and give them back to the people was one of the best decisions in Brussels in recent decades. We can now see its effect in the wider area. Numerous buildings are being thoroughly renovated, bringing a new dynamism to the city centre, such as the Bourse building, the Multi-tower, le Grand Café and now The Dome. We are bringing back the former grandeur of the central avenues”, said Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage, Pascal Smet.
The works will start in the first few months of 2023 and are expected to take 2-3 years and VDD will will be cooperating with the renowned architectural firm Coussée & Goris, known for projects like Ghent’s city library “De Krook” and the visitor centre of the “Zwin” in Knokke-Heist.
The vertical facade elements will be accentuated, the mansard roof will be replaced by streamlined dormers, balconies will be introduced under the eaves, the canopy will be vigorously designed and the elements with historic value, such as the dome, will be highlighted. “The building will have a new future, restoring its historical grandeur and reinterpreting the Hausmannian architecture in a contemporary way. This contrast will give it a contemporary identity and will further reinforce the beacon function of the iconic tower with roof dome”, said Johan Vandendriessche, managing partner VDD Project Development.
A new page is being written in the history of this emblematic location in Brussels, which will become the meeting place of all.Johan Vandendriessche, managing partner VDD Project Development
After the renovation, Italian company EATALY will make its long-awaited entry into the Belgian market. Its concept will cover the ground floor on the corner of Place de la Bourse, Boulevard Anspach and Rue Paul Devaux, and the entire first floor, for a total of 3,500 m². In this culinary hotspot, lovers of Italian food will be able to fully enjoy the food-court concept with restaurants, cafés, an Italian supermarket and a training centre.
Delhaize will keep its location on the corner of Boulevard Anspach and Rue du Marché aux Poulets, with a new urban concept on the ground floor and a classic supermarket in the basement, for a total of 2,200 m².
On the second, third and fourth floors, 7,500 m² of state-of-the-art offices will be provided, connected by an imposing glass atrium at the heart of the building and a roof garden. The fifth to eighth floors will feature 55 rental flats, between 38 m² and 105 m², according to the co-living concept. These will be smart, high-end apartments with an attractive range of facilities and various common areas such as relaxation areas, roof terraces and rooftop gardens. In this way the team provides an answer to the ever-growing demand for affordable, sustainable and efficient housing.
The project will follow a circular construction model, to ensure the building phase is as sustainable as possible. In addition, various modern and sustainable techniques, such as solar panels, heat pumps and maximum recovery of the heat and cooling produced, have been chosen in order to consume as little as possible.
Soft mobility will also be highlighted with 144 parking spaces for (cargo) bikes and only 5 for electric shared cars. The project fully meets the ambitions of the Brussels Region to provide high-quality, multifunctional and future-oriented buildings and aims to obtain the BREEAM Excellent certificate.