Snøhetta selected to transform iconic Brussels building
Centre Monnaie design competition winners announced
Following an international architecture competition, Snøhetta and local partner Binst Architects have been selected to redesign the famous Centre Monnaie/Muntcentrum in Brussels, Belgium. Known for its iconic, cross-shaped form, the 1970s building is an office and commercial hub situated in the heart of the city, rising 63m above “The Mint” shopping centre.
The winning design updates the 62,000 sqm building to fit in with its immediate surroundings, as well as to the context of Brussels at large. By moving towards a more sustainable, mixed-use space with residential, commercial and leisure functions, the designers hope that the new building will be better equipped to serve the city’s changing needs. Public spaces will include a rooftop plaza garden giving views of the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie and the Munt Plaza, together with a tower containing a publically accessible hotel lobby and restaurant.
Snøhetta rethought the façade and interior spaces to meet contemporary demands, while maintaining the characteristic forms and silhouette of the existing structure. The new façade, modular and simple in appearance, takes on key building services such as passive ventilation and PV panels. These functions lessen the technical burden inside the building, making the space easier to re-purpose and minimizing the necessary demolition of the existing construction.
The project is planned to be resource efficient, employing circular design principles to transform the Centre Monnaie into a highly sustainable building. The architects state: “As an energy-efficient retrofit, the design aspires to sustain the future of the building in the widest sense: spatially, architecturally, economically and socially.”