Pascal Henle

 Interiors Buildings Cities, Palace

Transformation of the National Bank of Belgium

The National Bank of Belgium stands as a fortified conglomerate of historical patchwork structures, infills and renovations within central Brussels. With its inherent role having shifted from that of a guardian of physical goods to a mere office, the building can be made publicly accessible, taking on an active role in the city. 

By understanding the existing building through the layers of the shell (as a physical infrastructure with a lifespan of about 60 years) and sets (of furniture and partitions that are constantly replaced), the bank can be manipulated and re-used. 

The careful clearance of the inner courtyard allows for an extension of the existing ‘shell’: a new framework, inserted within the courtyard, only revealing itself as chapters within the monumental façade.

The bank's excessive storage of outdated ‘sets’ become active elements in the spatial formation of the new bank, thereby providing an alternative narrative to the rapid regeneration of the office interior.

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