Brussels is a city with a booming architecture. Many ambitious projects are being developed throughout the region and more and more talents from all over the world are finding their way to the Belgian capital. This is another reason why “Brussels Architecture Prize” is being launched to put this flourishing sector in the spotlight.
The Brussels Architecture Prize is an initiative of the Brussels-Capital Region that is implemented by Urban.Brussels in collaboration with A+ Architecture in Belgium. Every two years, the Brussels Architecture Prize will reward outstanding architectural projects that contribute to the spatial quality of the Brussels-Capital Region. The prize will be awarded for the first time in 2021. The prize is organized in collaboration with CIVA and BOZAR.
“Brussels is evolving at an incredible pace. The quality of our public space and our buildings is improving rapidly and we owe this especially to the many outstanding architects in our city. That is why we are launching the Brussels Architecture Prize. We want to put our excellent architecture scene in the spotlight and show the world that Brussels is becoming a real contemporary architecture leader”Pascal Smet, State Secretary for Urbanism.
The Brussels Architecture Prize will highlight Brussels as a metropolis with great spatial qualities where both established names and young architects can gain a foothold, as a laboratory for contemporary architecture and urban planning where innovative projects are actively supported, and as a source of inspiration for an urban policy that reaches far beyond the region’s borders.
Bety Waknine, director of Urban.brussels believes that this award is a new opportunity to encourage and promote quality architecture in Brussels. Lisa De Visscher, artistic director of A+ magazine shares this view – “Today, Brussels architectural quality, urban innovation, renovation, reconversion and circular construction are exemplary for Europe. A prize is the best way to honour these works and their designers. This way, Brussels is going for outstanding architectural quality.”
The prize rewards recent realizations by Belgian or foreign architects in Brussels and by Brussels offices in Flanders, Wallonia or abroad. Any architect with an architectural office in Brussels or the author of a building that contributes to the quality of the capital, completed between 2018 and June 2021, can enter a submission. Both young and established architects can apply with small, innovative interventions and large, public interventions.
The four different categories are:
- Small intervention: architectural projects < 1,000 m2: buildings or renovations located in the Brussels-Capital Region which, thanks to an intelligent plan, ingenious detailing, the responsible use of materials or a clever organization, offer the right answer to the challenges of the contemporary metropolis.
- Major intervention: buildings located in the Brussels-Capital Region which, by virtue of their volume, their programme or their ambition, redesign the city, give it a new appearance or have a lasting impact on the quality and perception of the immediate environment.
- Public space: projects in the public space, located in the Brussels-Capital Region, which constitute an added value for the residents and users, which promote green mobility, and thus make it a city for everyone. This concerns not only streets, squares and parks, but also semi-public spaces that open themselves up to the neighbourhood and to passers-by, and as such give something back to the neighbourhood and the city.
- Extra muros: high-quality projects built outside the Brussels territory (national or international), but designed by a firm based in the Brussels-Capital Region.
An international professional jury will select a maximum of eight nominees in each category, including one winner. In addition to these four award categories, two honourable mentions will also be given:
- The Lifetime Achievement: this special award is given to a Brussels office or architect who through years of dedication has brought about positive changes for Brussels. This office or person will be nominated by the scientific committee. It is therefore not possible to enter a submission for this award.
- The Promising Architect: a special award for a young emerging office based in the Brussels- Capital Region whose partners are no older than 40 in 2021.
The professional international jury will consist of renowned foreign architects and key figures from the international world of architecture with a connection to (or love for) Brussels. The professional jury will make the selections in two stages.
Offices can enter a submission until 31 May 2021 through the website www.brusselsarchitectureprize.be