Monumental freight station in Brussels reconverted into office, retail and recreational space

Once Europe’s largest railway freight station, the monumental Gare Maritime in Brussels (Belgium) has been regenerated and turned into an impressive office, retail and recreational space. A true “city within the city”, it is also the largest project in Europe using cross-laminated timber (CLT).

Project ID
Location

Brussels, Belgium

Project type

Renovation

Building type

Mixed use

Surface

4,000 m²

Products

Firestone RubberGard EPDM 1.5 mm

System

Fully adhered

Neutelings Riedijk Architects, together with Bureau Bouwtechniek and JDMA, were behind the concept of the reconverted Gare Maritime. The building consists of 7 halls that date from the beginning of the 20th century: 3 main former train aisles and 4 lower former platform halls. These halls were first stripped until their steel structure and 12 pavilions were created inside using CLT. The use of wood has tremendously reduced the amount of concrete needed and has consequently reduced the building’s weight.


Gare Maritime is also a great example of sustainability. In a quest to run entirely on non-fossil fuel energy, solar panels were included in the street-facing facade and a further 17,000 m² have been installed on the roof. Rainwater is collected to water the inner gardens.

About 4,000 m² of Firestone’s RubberGard EPDM membrane have been used to waterproof the gutters of the 7 halls.

 

The Gare Maritime project is the winner of the ARC20 Architecture Award, the RES 2020 Award, the Belgian Timber Award, the 2021 Belgian Building Award in the ‘Utility Building’ category. It is also one of the laureates of the Europa Nostra Awards 2021, which recognizes outstanding heritage conservation initiatives. It has also been nominated for the ULI Europe Awards for Excellence and for the prestigious 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.