Renovation of the former Citroën garage in Yser and construction of a new cultural centre
BPC Brabant will renovate the former Citroën garage in Yser (Brussels) and build a new cultural centre called “Kanal”. This project will be carried out in temporary association with CIT Blaton.
As part of a 10-year partnership with the Centre Pompidou, the future KANAL – Centre Pompidou will house not only a museum of modern and contemporary art, but also the rich architecture and urban planning collections of the CIVA Foundation. It will also house numerous public spaces with multiple functions, including various stages for live performances.
The hollowed-out and restructured showroom will become the “showcase” of the project, hosting installations, performances and concerts on the ground floor, and a restaurant on the top floor. The large white exterior frieze will be extended to encircle the entire building as a ribbon of light, in order to disseminate information or allow for an artistic project. Inside the site, a transversal “street” will cross the 35,000 m2 site, giving access to three large “boxes within the box”, inserted into the former workshops and which will house the Centre Pompidou’s collections at the heart of the future museum of modern and contemporary art, the CIVA, as well as a 400-seat auditorium. The future museum will have exhibition spaces spread over four levels, of different heights, allowing for multiple configurations.
Supported by the Brussels-Capital Region, this ambitious project aims to provide Brussels with a cultural centre that will enhance the influence of the European capital. Within this framework, BPC will carry out the “structural work, roofing, façades, special techniques and finishing” part.
In the early 1930s, André Citroën bought the land on the Place de l’Yser. It was an ideal location for his new car factory, which would be the largest in Europe for a long time. Located at the crossroads of the Place de l’Yser and the Quai de Willebroeck, the complex, which occupies almost an entire block, is distinguished by its showroom, a 21-metre-high glass palace, made famous by its rounded curtain wall. This spectacular, light-filled architecture was conceived as a bold emblem of a fundamentally innovative company.
In 2015, the Société d’Aménagement Urbain (SAU) of the Brussels-Capital Region acquired the Citroën-Yser garage in order to develop a cultural centre of international scope, as desired by the Brussels-Capital Region Government.