Paleizenstraat 153 - 1030 Brussels
T 022444430 F 022444431 E

0802 Tunnel
tunnel Metro-Train

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Client :
Team :
AgwA + Tractebel Development Engineering
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The central station is a strategical key in the brussels urban fabric. Between the historical center and XIXth century planifications, it also takes part in the destructured Brussels North-South Junction. The plot is calling for an ambitious project on an urban scale.

Motorized infrastructures cross the whole city horizontally, while on te other hand, smaller, discontinuous, pedestrian walkways are linking various altitudes. The tunnel and its network of galleries is firmly rooted in this system. Those galeries are all articulated to the city through grandiloquent, naturally lit rooms. But one extremity (the subway station) lacks this room. Here, the galleries vanish in a labyrinth of corridors.

We analyzed the possibility to connect the station extensively to the public space. But traffic is dense, multiple, and space is lacking on the exterior. It looked impossible to create upwards verticality and to give it an urban face.

So we decided to work negatively, in a bi-fold project. Through downwards excavation, the station is converted to a piranesian figure gathering train tracks, staircases, shops, lifts and footbridges around a central void.

On the oustide, as a distorted echo of the underground room, the former crossroads becomes a fully pedestrian hub between buses, tramway, bicycles, train, taxis and subway through the simple prolongation of the classical striped pattern.