Brussels snapshots | La Femme & Parking58

 View from Parking58 | May 5, 2009
View from Parking58 | May 5, 2009

After grinding the euro out Ground Euro, MovingCities went scanning the skyline from two of Brussels’ largest urban balconies, the RAC and PARKING58. The RAC (Rijks Administratief Centrum) was the location of Brussels’ most brutal buildings. Some video’s for disappearing buildings.

RAC (large site on the right) | GoogleEarth
RAC (large site on the right) | GoogleEarth

On the site of the largest ensemble of post-war modernist buildings in the Brussels inner city area stood, and only for two decades, the Finance Tower, also know as “La Femme(link in dutch only). There “La Femme” loomed over the city, reminding it of the intense struggle it had with a century of non-stop urban change. Around 2002 this building was mysteriously sold (in a case of typical real-estate corruption in Brussels and Belgium) and, under the pretext of renovation, the 145 meter building was teared down.

Désenchantée by Kate Ryan | video still
Désenchantée by Kate Ryan | video still

With it an exceptional piece of Belgian architecture disappeared, but not before being immortalized in the notorious Désenchantée-video clip (watch it!) of Belgians’ finest Eurotrash star Kate Ryan and, even more importantly, in the Anton Corbijn directed HeadHunter-video clip (watch it over and over!) of Belgians’ legendary fathers of electronic body music FRONT 242.

HeadHunter by FRONT 242 | video still
HeadHunter by FRONT 242 | video still

Today, plans are being developed by Studio Arne Quinze. He is hired by the real-estate developers keep control over the conceptual design and asked to propose guidelines for the architectural design of the buildings and connected public spaces.

Next to the Studio Arne Quinze plan for the RAC, the developers released this document to the public. In it you can read real radical real-estate blablabla of following kind:

By taking advantage of the competences of conceptual architect studio led by Arne Quinze, the real estate partners have radically opted for a creative approach to existing and new spaces. This expresses the clear wish to boost a new élan and a pole of attraction for this part of town that was long cut off from the happenings in the city.

“La Femme” was also the backdrop of the “The Art of Adult Architecture or The Politics of Pornographic Planning“-piece that Bert de Muynck published in 2005 for a special issue of Cut-Up Magazine.

After the RAC, a visit to the best free view of the whole town, Parking 58. Situated in the center of the town, it is a 10 floor parking space with a top floor offering a 360 degree view of Brussels. A couple of snapshots.

View from RAC | Brussels, May 5, 2009
View from RAC | Brussels, May 5, 2009

View from Parking58 | Brussels, May 5, 2009
View from Parking58 | Brussels, May 5, 2009

Pictures by movingcities.org

Brussels Capital of Europe | MovingCities

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