danish firm COBE and belgian studio BRUT have been chosen to transform a heavily trafficked roundabout into an ‘urban agora’ at the heart of brussels’ european quarter. located at place schuman, a focus for major institutions of the european union, the competition-winning scheme is inspired by the shape of the european parliaments’ hemicycle. a reflective roof covers a new public space, which will help transform the european quarter from a city for cars into a city for people.

COBE BRUT
all images courtesy of COBE + BRUT

 

 

surrounding the agora, a large pedestrian area with a continuous pavement will connect place schuman to the neighboring park. ‘a parliament is usually closed-off to the public, but place schuman will be permanently accessible, embracing democracy and knowledge sharing,’ explains dan stubbergaard, founder and creative director of COBE. ‘here, all citizens of the EU will be united under one roof. the roof reflects the square and the people below, creating a meeting place between nationalities, cultures, languages and genders.’

COBE BRUT
the heavily trafficked roundabout will be transformed into an ‘urban agora’

 

 

‘the winning project as proposed by COBE / BRUT shows a fine craftsmanship as it combines the overall complexity of this mission within a consistent and ambitious project,’ says kristiaan borret, brussels chief architect. ‘the new place schuman will become a pleasant and at the same time welcoming area.’ additional studies for the design will be carried out by COBE and BRUT with a view to submitting a permit by the end of 2018. the project is scheduled to get underway in 2019.

COBE BRUT
a reflective roof covers a new public space

COBE BRUT
a large pedestrian area with a continuous pavement will connect place schuman to the neighboring park

COBE BRUT
map view illustrating the project’s location

COBE BRUT
site plan

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