The SNCB/NMBS (Belgian railways) has designated the consortium BESIX - BPC/BPI and Immobel as the preferred bidder for the construction of its new headquarters at the Brussels-South railway station. The new headquarters of approximately 75,000 m² will accommodate the management of SNCB/NMBS and its subsidiary, HR Rail. The selected proposal by architects OMA, Jaspers - Eyers and Assar retains the three existing buildings on Avenue Fonsny and adds a contemporary extension along the side of the rail tracks. Once SNCB/NMBS staff have moved to the new headquarters the consortium will convert the current office buildings, which have a surface area of around 120,000 m², into a new dynamic neighbourhood offering a mix of functions.
The chosen project is contributing in various ways to a thorough transformation of the area around the Brussels-South railway station. It aims to breathe new life into the neighbourhood and make it more inviting, fun and lively at any time of the day. The renovation of the existing buildings and the extension will help to give the neighbourhood a new image.
Travellers will also benefit fully from this project, and to achieve this the entire interaction between the train station and the public space along the Avenue Fonsny side will be reconsidered. The main entrance will become much more visible and accessible, and the base of the buildings along Avenue Fonsny will also be revamped. The project will include both new commercial premises and the entrance to the new headquarters, which will also be accessible to the public (featuring among other things an exhibition space). By extending one of the underpasses (the M corridor) to Avenue Fonsny, a new direct access to the platforms will be created, enabling a smoother flow of travellers.
The building will be state-of-the-art in terms of energy consumption (with solar panels and heat pumps, etc.) and also highly eco-efficient, with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) “Excellent” certification, a method that helps assess the environmental performance of a building.
Work will start at the beginning of 2022, and the aim is to bring together the more than 4,000 employees of SNCB/NMBS and HR Rail concerned on this single site by the end of 2024.
After delivery of the headquarters and the move of SNCB/NMBS staff, the consortium will transform the current offices into a new neighbourhood offering a mix of functions such as shops, offices, residential units, a hotel and public areas (surface area of around 120,000 m²).
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