Green light for redevelopment of iconic Brussels building The Dome
The Brussels region has granted planning permission for the redevelopment of The Dome on the corner of Place de la Bourse and Boulevard Anspach, confirmed urbanism and heritage state secretary Pascal Smet.
Called The Dome by its new developer because of the shape of its iconic copper roof, the 21,000m2 site is set to become a multifunctional building with retailers, restaurants, offices and apartments. Building work is due to start at the beginning of 2023 and is expected to last two to three years.
The first Belgian branch of the Italian food chain Eataly will occupy the ground and first floor of the Rue Paul Delvaux side of the building. The Delhaize supermarket located in Rue Marché aux Poulets will extend to the basement. New offices are planned for the second, third and fourth floors, while floors five to eight will house 55 apartments for the rental market with tenants enjoying access to roof gardens.
The design respects the building’s history, character and surroundings, according to Smet, who said the renovation would be a milestone in revitalising the city centre.
“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… 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,” he added.
More private investors are opting for the city’s urban policy, according to mayor Philippe Close, who pointed out that “the city wants to be a constructive partner in this ambitious project."
“The building will have a new future, restoring its historical grandeur and reinterpreting the Hausmannian architecture in a contemporary way,” said Johan Vandendriessche, managing partner of VDD Project Development, which along with Vervoordt r.e. was selected by the region to redevelop the site.
Built in the 1870s, The Dome initially housed Belgium’s first department store ‘Les Grands Magasins de la Bourse’, but suffered heavy damage in a fire in 1948. The property was converted into an office and retail building in 1970, and was home to the offices of employment agency Actiris offices until a few years ago.
The Brussels region sold the building in 2018 with the aim of giving it a multifunctional use. While standing empty, temporary use was given for coworking spaces, artists’ studios and a rooftop terrace.
Photos: Courtesy of the office of Pascal Smet