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Brussels Region selects five teams for design of new Manchester artistic and creative centre

The current situation at 13-15 and 17-19 rue de Manchester.  - © (Simon Schmitt -

2021.01.29 - Following the presentation of an analytical report by the Urban Development Corporation (SAU), the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region has, in consultation with the SPRB Facilities Directorate, and the Region’s Chief Architect, selected five teams from the 30 applications received in response to the European public procurement process launched in October 2020to appoint a multidisciplinary team to design the  project for the revitalisation/redevelopment of the buildings at 13-15 and 17-19 Rue de Manchester in 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean as an artistic and creative centre.

The buildings near the Canal will be turned into premises for cultural, artistic and creative activity and related facilities such as administrative offices, a multipurpose hall and artists’ residences.The SAU, acting as delegated project manager, will also oversee the work until its official completion. The new cultural, artisticand creative centre is one of the priority projects being financed under the ‘Heyvaert-Poincaré’ Urban Regeneration Contract(CRU 5) approved by the Government in December 2017.

The following five multidisciplinary teams that have now been asked to submit a bid for the new cultural venue:

- T.V. BC architects + CIVIC architects + Architecture Workroom Brussels + Cenergie + BAS + Callebaut architecten + Atelier Arne Deruyter + Abesco

- T.V. Dierendonckblancke architecten + Mamout architectes

- A.M. Monsieur Pascal architectes + Encore Heureux

- A.M. Coton Lelion Nottebaert + Atelier d’architecture Alain Richard

- A.M. OUEST architecture + HBAAT

The Region and the SAU plan to award the contract in May 2021.

Minister-President Rudi Vervoort commented: ‘I am delighted at the quality of the applications received. The selection of five extremely different multidisciplinary teams is an important step in the CRU 5 process and augurs well for the submission of some wonderful architectural plans. From this summer, the Region will have a preliminary design for this site which is in the process of being redeveloped.’

The SAU’s director, Gilles Delforge, stressed that ‘The high-quality applications we have received clearly demonstrate the interest attracted by the decision to establish a cultural, artistic and creative centre at this location. The project is a perfect fit in the context of the Rue de Manchester district: this future cultural centre will rub shoulders with other cultural institutions such as Charleroi Danse and Cinemaximiliaan and will also provide local jobs.’

The first work will start in mid-2023 and the facilities are scheduled to open in 2025. In total, around 14 million euros will be invested in the renovation and redevelopment work in this project.

The site belongs to the Land Management Agency of the Brussels-Capital Region (SPRB Facilities Directorate). Some initialwork has been done and investments undertaken since 2019 to make possible the temporary occupation of the premises – in particular by Recyclart asbl, which the Brussels Government announced in April 2020 would continue to have a presence on the site.