Gare Maritime Brussels

Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Brussels, Belgium

A small wooden city inside Gare Maritime in Brussels, designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architecs.

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© Filip Dujardin

Gare Maritime in Brussels, once Europe’s largest station for merchandise trains, is now a covered mini-city with mixed uses: workspaces, shopping, and relaxing public space. Neutelings Riedijk Architects envisioned the complex as a city district in its own right, ‘a city where it never rains’ under an impressive steel room. The original building dates back to the early 20th century. Inside, now, are twelve pavilions that create a new urban structure of streets, boulevards, parks, and squares. The central space is freed up to provide a venue for different public events, and taking inspiration from Barcelona’s Ramblas, it connects on both sides with the boulevards.

There is room enough for ten gardens based on four themes: forest, flowers, grass, and fragrances. The Brussels artist Henri Jacobs designed the eight mosaics for the squares. Gare Maritime also stands out for its sustainable design: mainly built with cross laminated timber (this is the largest CLT work in Europe), it much reduced the quantity of cement needed, and the time required for assembly was minimized by the use of prefabricated pieces.

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