Huis van de Europese Geschiedenis Brussel

Competition design for the redevelopment of a former dental clinic into a museum of European history.

The Huis van de Europese Geschiedenis Brussel, the museum of European history, is conceived as a house made up of rooms in which young and old are cohabiting, the place par excellence for meetings, training, learning and hospitality. The 'Institut Dentaire George Eastman' is located in Leopoldpark (right in the middle of the European quarter). In the ‘30’s, this building, designed by Michel Polak, used to be a dental clinic for Brussels street children. The extensive program for a building that cannot exceed the size of the existing building left few design options open, so it was decided to add an extension on top of the existing building, like a crown. This addition accommodates the actual museum’s permanent exhibition rooms. By housing the museum in a newly built volume, all specific requirements for exhibition rooms (clarity, flexibility, neutrality, ventilation, air humidity…) can be fulfilled. The Eastman-building is restored with due regard for its valuable original features. Educational facilities such as a media library and room for workshops, but also programmed activities such as conference rooms, are provided for in rooms positioned close to the entrance, so people coming from outside the museum can easily visit without having to circulate through the rest of the building. As its extension floats above the trees in Leopoldpark, the House will firmly proclaim its presence, acting like a reference for the Europe of today.

client European Parliament
location Brussel, Belgium
period 2010
procedure competition
surface 8000 m²
team Lieven Achtergael, Juan Herreros, Jeffrey Berghman, Pietter Lansens, Gonzalo Rivas, Ida Lievens, Igor Bragado, Spencer Leaf, Xavier Robledo
i.c.w. Herreros Arquitectos (architectural design), ARUP (structural and MEP engineering)