SAU launches study of conversion of Brussels central fire station

2 December 2020
The Brussels central fire station between the canal and the North district. © sau-msi.brussels (Simon Schmitt - www.globalview.be)A garage for fire engines, Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The SIAMU-DBDMH fire station on Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The SIAMU-DBDMH fire station on Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The SIAMU-DBDMH fire station on Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The fire station’s main entrance, Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The façade with the fire station’s main entrance, Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The ambulance garage, Avenue de l’Héliport. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The corner of Avenue de l’Héliport and Rue Simons. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The fire station’s rear entrance, Rue du Frontispice. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)

The Urban Development Corporation (SAU) has been tasked by the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region with studying the possibilities for converting the site currently used for the Brussels central fire station at 11-15 Avenue de l’Heliport in Brussels. The assignment has been entrusted to the SAU in the context of the Government’s decision of 7 May 2020 relating to the construction of a new fire station for the headquarters of the Firefighting and Emergency Medical Assistance Service (SIAMU-DBDMH). The relocation of the fire service headquarters to the Port Business Park (formerly TACT), next to Tour & Taxis, announced today by the Brussels Government, and scheduled to take place in the medium term, will free up an extensive site with existing buildings between Avenue de l’Héliport and Rue du Frontispice in the territory of the City of Brussels. Located where the Canal Area meets the Manhattan district adjoining the Gare du Nord railway station, this site has significant potential in the ongoing transition of this part of the city. The SAU has also been tasked by the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region with the delegated project management role for the SIAMU-DBDMH’s future installation on the Port Business Park site.

The Avenue de l’Heliport fire station occupies around 0.8 hectares of ground and has a built area of around 26,500 m². The Brussels Government wants the SAU to study the programmatic, spatial, economic and environmental possibilities of this complex with the objective of overseeing its transition within the framework of the Be Sustainable reference guide developed by Brussels Environment. To this end, the SAU is launching a public procurement process for services with a view to the performance of the necessary study.

The search for candidate project designers involves the publication by the Region’s Chief Architect of a call for expressions of interest. The aim of this call is to select three to five multidisciplinary teams which will then be invited to submit bids for the contract.

The competencies sought are as follows:
- architecture - urban development - research by design (at the level of the architectural project);
- historical and heritage analysis of post-war buildings;
- urban planning;
- circular economy;
- project economics (financial analysis);
- technical assessment.

The deadline for the receipt of requests to participate is 6 January 2021.

The Call for Expressions of Interest is available on the site bma.brussels.

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