Belliard 40 is a light-flooded new build at the heart of the European District in Brussels. Designed by Art&Build Architects, who are also based in the Belgian capital, the ensemble consists of a tower in the middle, flanked by two six-storey buildings with around 20,000 sq m of office and commercial space in total. Retail outlets and eateries are accommodated in the two buildings at the sides, while the distinctive tower at the centre provides room for numerous European organisations and associations. From an urban development standpoint, the architects cleverly linked public and private space at the intersection of rue Belliard and rue Science. The offset construction of the buildings and the five-storey structure in the middle create a public plaza, which stylishly leads to the five-storey atrium at the heart of the new build. Generous-sized green spaces complement the public and communal areas.
The interior designers, Captif from Antwerp, specialise in office design and it proved quite a challenge to create the office interiors at Belliard 40 for CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council. The goal was not just to emphasise CEFIC’s leading position among the European associations, but also to integrate the council’s member organisations in a coherent way. Captif custom-developed a special hybrid design and build model that allowed the identification and implementation of a nuanced range of requirements from all members.
In contrast to the former corporate culture with lots of enclosed cubicle offices, the interior designers chose an open-plan environment with a few more personal rooms for the new build in order to introduce more physical activity and movement into the working day. Spaces for two and areas where people can retreat to on each floor ensure an array of different office environments. The all-day cafeteria also plays a key role as an informal place to meet up and order a coffee from a barista.
The dynamic nature of the workspaces continues in the design of the conference areas and seating:
We picked Wilkhahn furniture for many areas of the new Chemical Industry Council, CEFIC, headquarters in Brussels” explains Captif CEO Benjamin Vandamme. “The north German manufacturer provided a custom-made Graph table in a large, open-centred rectangular format with rounded edges for the ultra-modern meeting space for 40 people in the conference centre. Wilkhahn’s stylish Sola conference chairs subtly reflect this table format in their backrests. We also added Wilkhahn’s dynamic seating elsewhere, for example, its Stand-up stool, Metrik cantilever chair or Occo conference chair.
CEFIC’s headquarters are a dynamic and carefully styled workplace down to the last detail. Natural features such as green walls and wooden panels create fresh accents in a classy backdrop with its view of the Brussels skyline.