European Parliament – Paul-Henri SPAAK Building (2020)

The Official Journal of the European Commission announced the international architectural design competition for the renewal of the European Parliament – Paul-Henri SPAAK Building Brussels on 26 May 2020. The international, single stage architectural design project competition with an open pre-qualification followed by a restricted procedure is conducted according to the UNESCO Standard Regulations for International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning and the UIA best practice recommendations.

The competition sought to revive its Paul-Henri Spaak building, which is the main parliament building at its workplace in Brussels. The building houses the plenary as well as facilities for parliamentary committees and trialogues, and a visitors’ centre. The solutions considered to revive the building can range from a major renovation to complete reconstruction. The future building must be integrated and linked to its urban, natural and social environment.

At the end of the pre-qualification procedure, 15 competitors (groups of architects, as lead members, together with structural engineers and environmental experts) were selected out of 132 applications received from all 5 continents.


  • Period for Questions during Application Procedure (online forum): 24 June 2020
  • Deadline for application: 9 July 2020
  • Dispatching of invitations for the design competition: September 2020
  • Participants Colloquium: Date of invitation + 2 weeks
  • First Deadline for submitting projects: Date of invitation + 12 weeks
  • Second Deadline for submitting model and renderings: First deadline + 2 weeks
  • Jury meeting: Late January 2021
  • Project confirmation by European Parliament: February – March 2021


Visit the competition website 

View the competition launch and results press releases.

The announcement of the results experienced a significant delay owing to various issues faced by the competition organiser that were both internal and external to the European Parliament.

The projects were presented during the exhibition planned for September 2022. They can be viewed on the website of the competition organiser.

Keywords : Institutional, Sustainability

Theme and objectives

Urban integration and links: the best planning solutions for the Paul-Henri SPAAK building and its surrounding area.

Architectural identity: a paradigm of architecture and strong visual identity for the building and the Chamber. This design had to support the architectural quality of the city and resonate with the European citizens as a representation of the power of their voice.

Cultural hub: a building that engages in dialogue with citizens and the city, a welcome centre for visitors and a focus of culture and debates for city residents.

Flexible use: a building that offers flexible spaces and must be able to adapt easily to the European Parliament’s development over time. The project must take into account the relationship between functions and between the building’s different users.

Sustainability: a positive example of sustainable and regenerative building.

Jury Members

General jurors:

  • Rainer Wieland, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Germany
  • Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Portugal
  • Rudy Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
  • Bety Waknine, Head of the Brussels Planning and Heritage Regional Public Service, Belgium

Architectural jurors:

  • Prof. Marilyne Andersen, Physicist and Environmental specialist, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Kristiaan Borret, Urban planner, Government Architect of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
  • Manuelle Gautrand, Architect, France
  • Dorte Mandrup, Architect, Denmark (UIA representative )
  • Carme Pigem, Architect, Spain
  • Kazuyo Sejima, Architect, Japan
  • Dimitri Tenezakis, Architect, Head of Luxembourg and Strasbourg Major Construction Projects Unit – DG INLO – European Parliament, Greece

Alternate general jurors:

  • Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Finland
  •  Gilles Boyer, Quaestor of the European Parliament, France
  • Alain Hutchinson, Brussels Commissioner for Europe and International Organisations, Belgium
  • Thibaut Jossart, Director at the Brussels Planning and Heritage Regional Public Service, Belgium

Alternate architectural jurors:

  • Romain Poulles, Engineer, Luxembourg
  • Anna Przybyl, Architect, acting head of the Building Projects Unit in Strasbourg, – DG INLO – European Parliament, Poland
  • Prof. Volker Staab, Architect, Germany
  • Lisa de Visscher, Architect, Editor in chief of A+ magazine, Belgium (UIA representative)


Individuals eligible to participate were, on the day of the announcement of the competition and pursuant to the legal provisions of their country of residence, entitled to use the occupational title “Architect” according and work independently. Individuals from countries where the occupational title “Architect” is not subject to statutory regulations were eligible, provided that they hold a degree or submit any other evidence of formal qualification that was recognised in the EU under 2013/55/EU (EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications or prove of practice).


The jury allocated the 5 following prizes:

  • 1st prize: JDS Architects (Denmark)
    Coldefy (France) | NL Architects (Netherlands) | Carlo Ratti Associati (Italy) | ENSAMBLE STUDIO (Spain) |UTIL cvba (Belgium) | Ramboll (Denmark) Design sheets
  • 2nd prize: JABORNEGG & PALFFY Generalplaner ZT GmbH (Austria)
    KUEHN MALVEZZI (Germany) | AXIS Ingenieurleistungen ZT GmbH (Austria) Design sheets
  • 3rd prize: MOREAU KUSUNOKI (France)
    Dethier Architectures (Belgium) | sbp france (France) | ME Engineers Ltd (United Kingdom) Design sheets
  • 4th prize: BELVEDERE ARCHITECTURE (France)
    Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd (United Kingdom) Design sheets
  • 5th prize: A2M (Belgium)
    VK ENGINEERING (Belgium) | C.F. Møller Architects (Denmark) Design sheets

Other prequalified participants (alphabetical order):

  • Baumschlager Eberle Architekten (Liechtenstein)
    Bureau Bouwtechniek (Belgium) | Macobo-Stabo (Belgium) Design Sheets
  • Cobe A/S (Denmark)
    Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter A/S (Denamrk) | Steensen Varming (Denmark) | Tyréns AB (Sweden) Design Sheets
  • Dominique Perrault Architecte (France)
    Ney & Partners – T6 S.à r.l. (Luxembourg) | Jean-Paul LAMOUREUX (France) | HL-PP Consult International Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (Germany) | URBAN ECO SCOP (France) | DDS+ (Belgium) | Arcora (France) | Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost (France) | SORANE SA (Switzerland) Design Sheets
  • Helin & Co Architects (Finland)
    Sitowise Oy (Finland) | LPR-architects (Finland) Design sheets
  • KAAN Architecten (Netherlands)
    DGMR Bouw B.V. (Netherlands) | SVR-ARCHITECTS nv (Belgium) | Werner Sobek Frankfurt (Germany) Design Sheets
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architecten B.V. (Netherlands)
    NEY & Partners WOW bvba (Belgium) | BSEG (Belgium) Design sheets 
  • Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) Stedebouw B.V. (Netherlands)
    studiebureau r. boydens nv (Belgium) | Ney & Partners BXL nv (Belgium) Design sheets 
  • Renzo Piano Building Workshop (France)
    Happold Ingenieurbüro GmbH (Germany) Design sheets 
  • Shigeru Ban Architects (Japan)
    Jean de Gastines Architectes (France) | Ove Arup and Partners Japan Ltd (Japan) Design sheets
  • Snøhetta Oslo AS (Norway)
    HL-Beratungs-u. Beteiligungs Gmbh (Germany) | BURO II & ARCHI+I (Belgium) | Bollinger + Grohmann Ingeniører AS (Norway) | SuReal (Belgium) Design sheets 

Key dates

2020-06-24 Period for Questions during Application Procedure (online forum) Date of announcement until June 24, 2020
2020-07-09 Deadline for application
2020-09-23 Dispatching of invitations for the design competition


Each competitor, preselected by the jury on the basis of their complete design project in compliance with the competition rules, was granted the amount of 75,000 euros (excluding VAT).

The jury chose 5 laureates among the submitted design concepts and awarded prizes among them. The total prize money amounted to 400,000 euros (excluding VAT).

The prizes were the following:

  • 1st prize: EUR 120,000
  • 2nd prize: EUR 100,000
  • 3rd prize: EUR 80,000
  • 4th prize: EUR 60,000
  • 5th prize: EUR 40,000