Official launch for Frame, the showcase for mediapark.brussels6 July 2021
The Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort, used a digger to officially launch construction work on the site of the Frame media centre, the future showcase of mediapark.brussels.
The Urban Development Corporation (sau-msi.brussels) is constructing the building with a gross floor space of 8,157 m² on seven levels (basement + ground floor + 5 storeys) at the corner of Boulevard Reyers and Rue Colonel Bourg, not far from the offices of RTBF and VRT. Built with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Frame will accommodate, among other things, the future headquarters of regional television channel BX1, a co-working space and a business centre dedicated to the media. The SAU expects to complete the building and welcome the first occupants in 2023.
At the site launch, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort stated, ‘The start of the construction of Frame is an important step in the development of mediapark.brussels. This urban project in the Brussels Region will transform the current closed-in site of the French-speaking and Flemish public TV broadcasters into a proper Brussels district. An open district, arranged around a large public park extending over 9.5 hectares and the future new headquarters of RTBF and VRT. A district that the Region has decided should be mixed in character, with housing, shops, schools and businesses to meet the needs of the people of Brussels. A district that is also focused on the media and the creative industries, because the Region is counting on the development of these sectors to contribute to its overall development. Frame will be one of the first buildings of mediapark.brussels to go up, and will be a flagship edifice in this new creative district of Brussels that the Region has planned. With the multiple operators, functions and services it will house, Frame will also be a kind of microcosm of mediapark.brussels in its own right, a showcase for the district. The creation of a media centre as a generator of employment in the Brussels Region has attracted nearly 16 million euros of support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Region for this future pillar of mediapark.brussels. The French Community Commission of Brussels has also provided nearly 4.5 million euros of support for the installation of BX1 within Frame.’
Gilles Delforge, director of the Urban Development Corporation (sau-msi.brussels), said he was ‘delighted at the launch of this project, which is an important step for the SAU in its two main missions. Frame will be an important early milestone for mediapark.brussels, the operational development of which the SAU is ensuring in its steering role in connection with major regional urban development projects. At the same time, it will be the first of the diverse range of regional public facilities (including a museum, a concert hall, fire stations and sports facilities) that it will create in the years ahead. Besides being a showcase for mediapark.brussels, Frame will also be a showcase for Belgian architecture and construction. The architects at Baukunst, together with their partners at Bruther and the entire design team, have come up with an innovative building, designed to adapt to the fast-changing world of the media, and the contractors BAM Interbuild and Groven+ will need to make full use of their expertise to construct it.’
Maroun Labaki, Chair of the Board of Directors of BX1: ‘Frame is the symbol – and will be the tool – of all our ambitions. We have ambitions for ourselves, of course, as a regional public media operator: we want to serve everyone in Brussels even better by adapting to the new ways in which people consume information. And we also have ambitions for Brussels, which we love passionately. Brussels must remain itself, but at the same time grow in its wonderful diversity, its traditions and its boldness, including as the capital of Belgium and of Europe – as the capital of Europeans and of European values.’
The SAU chose the building’s name in consultation with several players in the Brussels media sector, including BX1. Frame (Brussels media community) refers to the framework that the building will provide for the development of a media-oriented ecosystem; to the shape and structure of its main façade; to the window onto mediapark.brussels that it will be; to the camera frame in visual media; and to the frame in web design.