SAU proposes CIVA site for Europan architecture competition

5 April 2021
The old secondary power station. © monument.heritage.brusselsThe contemporary building. © monument.heritage.brussels

The Urban Development Corporation (SAU) has proposed to Europan Belgium that the site of the International Centre for the City, Architecture and Landscape (CIVA) should be put forward for consideration by young architects in the Europan competition. The SAU has thus taken the opportunity of this biennial competition to start thinking about possible new ways to use the buildings after CIVA’s relocation, scheduled for 2024.

The SAU is the owner of the 6,600 m2 site, consisting of two buildings (an old power plant and a more recent building), on Rue de l’Ermitage in Ixelles. CIVA is a unique resources, knowledge and expertise centre for several Brussels cultural organisations active in the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscape design and the study of ecosystems. The relocation of CIVA and its exhibitions is scheduled for 2024. Its temporary and permanent exhibitions, lectures and debates, educational activities and events and exceptional archive collection of nearly 40,000 books and journals on architecture, urban planning, urban history, landscapes, gardens and urban ecology will be transferred to the future Kanal – Centre Pompidou museum. This museum in the old Citroën Yser garage which is currently being converted is scheduled for permanent opening in 2024.

Europan is a biennial competition open to teams of young architects, urban planners and landscape architects under the age of 40 who took a degree in architecture or are practising in Europe. Candidates are invited to present innovative urban and architectural projects on various European sites. The projects and winning entrants are selected through a process of academic reflection based on the biennial’s theme (this year: ‘Living Cities – Metabolic Vitalities and Inclusive Vitalities’). The competition offers the SAU an opportunity to start reflecting on the future conversion (without demolition) of the CIVA buildings, which will continue to be used for public purposes. Europan Belgium has also chosen a site in Flanders and one in Wallonia.

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