A former Citroën car factory will be transformed into a major cultural hub for Brussels. The KANAL – Centre Pompidou will comprise a Museum of Contemporary Art, an architecture center, and other public art spaces. EM2N, noAarchitecten, and Sergison Bates won a design competition to lead the design of the €125 million adaptive reuse project. The historic 1930s building was selected for its size — an expansive 215,000 square feet — and prime location in the heart of the Brussels-Capital Region at the center of the Plan Canal.
“The proposal for Kanal reflects on the position of the twenty-first century museum in society,” wrote the architects. “The building is located in the heart of the Plan Canal, the area where new developments focus on a contemporary mix of housing, working, leisure and production spaces– the activity that is historically linked to the canal area.” The Centre Pompidou scheme begins with the restoration of the former Citroën garage followed by the insertion of three volumes for the art museum, architecture center, and 400-seat auditorium.
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Wraparound glazing and skylights create transparency and allow ample amount of natural light indoors. To reduce the building’s energy footprint, each of the three inserted volumes will be equipped with individual climate control while other energy-saving measures will be used throughout the rest of KANAL. Construction is slated to begin fall 2019 and the museum is expected to open in 2022.
Images by NOA / EM2N / SBA