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EUROPA: A BUILDING FOR THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL

Europa Building

In December 2000 the European Council decided that its meetings would now take place in Brussels. This decision, together with the enlargement of the European Union and the subsequent institutional developments, called for an adaptation of the property portfolio of the European Council and the Council.

 

  • In June 2002, the Belgian government proposed that part of the RÉSIDENCE PALACE complex, adjacent to the Council building, be attached to the European Council following its restoration.
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  • Built between 1922 and 1927 based on plans by Swiss architect Michel Polak, the RÉSIDENCE PALACE offered housing and high quality services. The buildings were converted to accommodate administrative services and underwent numerous modifications including, in particular, the creation of an international press centre.

    The most beautiful parts of the whole Art Deco estate are listed buildings.

 

  • The European Council agreed to the Belgian Government's proposal at its meeting on 25 and 26 March 2004.

    The new meeting venue of the European Council, named "EUROPA", forms a coherent area with the Council buildings "Justus Lipsius" at the corner of the Schuman roundabout and "LEX", located in Rue de la Loi.

 

  • A European architecture and project competition was launched on 4 August 2004 and 25 project teams were selected in January 2005. The second stage of the competition took place between June and September 2005 among the six finalists.

 

  • The team of architects and engineers Philippe SAMYN & PARTNERS, agent and lead and design partner, STUDIO VALLE PROGETTAZIONI, architects, and BURO HAPPOLD engineers, was awarded the contract on 2 September 2005.

    The project consists of three conference halls with interpretation booths, five other meeting rooms, offices for the president of the European Council, the Council presidencies, delegations from Member States of the European Union and the press. The architectural and engineering design of the European Council building conforms to stringent environmental requirements. Solar panels for electricity production cover the roofs. A collection of restored wood-frame windows sourced from all over Europe provide acoustic insulation against traffic noise and first-class thermal insulation.

 

  • Building work started after planning permission was issued in 2008, with the removal of asbestos and the demolition of structures from the 1960s. This initial infrastructure phase, which also included the laying of the foundations of the building, was completed in July 2011. Construction work is currently underway.

 

  • The cost of the project remains below the agreed ceiling of EUR 240 million (as valued in January 2004), which was approved in November 2005.
© Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD © Archives of the Ministry of Public Work/Public Buildings Administration © European Union © European Union © Architects and engineers : Philippe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD
The Europa Building

 

Illustration credits
- Philippe Samyn and Partners, architects and engineers, lead and design partner, representing the joint venture Philippe Samyn and Partners, architects and engineers, Studio Valle Progettazioni, architects, and Buro Happold Ltd., engineers.
- Polygongraphics - Archives of the Ministry of Public Works /Public Buildings Administration - Georges Meurant - Artefactorylab - European Union

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