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
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 should 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.
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
Such individuals shall be eligible to participate who, on the day of the announcement of the competition and pursuant to the legal provisions of their country of residence, are 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 are eligible, provided that they hold a degree or submit any other evidence of formal qualification that is recognized in the EU under 2013/55/EU (EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications or prove of practice).
- 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)
- Prof. Marilyne Andersen, Physicist and Environmental specialist, Lausanne (Switzerland)
- Kristiaan Borret, Urban planner, Government Architect of the Brussels-Capital Region (Belgium)
- Manuelle Gautrand, Architect, Paris (France)
- Dorte Mandrup, Architect, Copenhagen, UIA representative (Denmark)
- Carme Pigem, Architect, Olot (Spain)
- Kazuyo Sejima, Architect, Tokyo (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 (Luxembourg)
- Anna Przybyl, Architect, acting head of the Building Projects Unit in Strasbourg, – DG INLO – European Parliament (Poland)
- Prof. Volker Staab, Architect, Berlin (Germany)
- Lisa de Visscher, Architect, Editor in chief of A+ magazine, Brussels, UIA representative (Belgium)
Each competitor, preselected by the jury on the basis of their complete design project in compliance with the competition rules, will be granted the amount of EUR 75,000 (excluding VAT).
The jury will choose 5 laureates among the submitted design concepts, and will award prizes among them. The total prize money will amount to EUR 400,000 (excluding VAT).
The prizes will be 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