A waffle-shaped structure has recently appeared on the roof of the old Brussels Stock Exchange or Bourse/Beurs. The building is currently being converted into a new hot spot, the Beer Temple. The lower floors will house a restaurant, a large hall, as well as an exhibition and meeting rooms. The archaeological site Bruxella 1238, with the remains of the 13th-century monastery, will remain in its original location.
In 2019, it was announced that there would be a tasting room, where visitors could have a glass of beer at the end of the course. The café-bar, which offers a unique view of the city, would become accessible to everyone after the Beer Temple closing hours.
According to Belgian news outlet Bruzz, the size of the metal canopy, which some say has the shape of a waffle, has been reduced in the plans over the years. Since the installation of the canopy, mixed reactions have been voiced, especially on social media. Bruzz reports that the Think tank Atelier de Recherche et d’Action Urbaine (Aura) and city association Inter Environnement Bruxelles (IEB), which unsuccessfully challenged the construction before the Council of State, call the new modifications disrespectful of the Bourse’s heritage value.
In February of this year, the Brussels City Council decided to entrust a subsidiary of the Régie Communale Autonome with the project to reshaping the Stock Exchange, the management of the restaurant spaces as well as the future Skybar and the museum shop of the complex.
The Mayor of the City, Philippe Close, reiterated that the renovation project of the Stock Exchange building aims to stimulate a new dynamic in the heart of the capital by developing a new cultural, economic and tourist pole around the Belgian beer culture in the emblematic building of the Stock Exchange. It will be a showcase for the Belgian brewing sector with which it is developed.
The restaurant, brewery/café-lounge, skybar and museum shop spaces are to be conceived as an integral part of the project, and therefore complementary to the experience center. The spaces are not intended to be operated independently of Belgian Beer World. They will be open primarily during Belgian Beer World hours and will have limited access outside of that schedule.
The City commissioned PwC to conduct an analysis to identify the most appropriate vehicle to carry the commercial activities of the HoReCa spaces. PwC suggested that a subsidiary of the Régie Communale Autonome be used. Works on the Bourse should be completed by 2023.