European Parliament Design Competition: Paul-Henri SPAAK Building and its surroundings


View of the Paul-Henri SPAAK Building with Parc Leopold in the background and Place du Luxembourg in the foreground ©Façade and hemicycle: architect Michel Boucquillon


Sponsor: European Parliament

Competition management: AT-Osborne-Tractebel Engineering, Brussels, Belgium and [phase eins], Architects, Berlin, Germany

(It is intended to have the procedure approved by the uia (Union Internationale des Architectes).

Type: RfQ two-stage competition

Fee: none

Language: English

Process: Shortlisting of up to 15 firms for the competition stage


9 July 2020 – RfQ qualifications submission deadline

December 2020 – Deadlines for submission of entries

January 2021 – Jury session and announcement of winner

Compensation packages and awards:
Each competitor who submits a detailed and assessable design concept in accordance with the requirements in the competition brief will receive a flat-rate fee of EUR 75,000, excluding VAT. as compensation for the expenses incurred, against receipt of an invoice in full and final settlement.
In addition, the Jury will award 5 prize winners among the submitted designconcepts and will award prizes among them. The sum of the prizes will amount to 400.000 €, net of VAT
11 jurors with a vote:
• Four general jurors
– Rainer Wieland, Vice-President of the European Parliament
– Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the European Parliament
– Rudy Vervoort, Minister President of the Brussels-Capital Region
– Bety Waknine, Head of the Brussels Planning and Heritage Regional Public Service
• Seven architectural jurors
– Prof. Marilyne Andersen, Physicist and Environmental specialist, Lausanne, Switzerland
– Kristiaan Borret, Urban Planner, BouwMeester Architect of the Brussels Region, Belgium
– Manuelle Gautrand, Architect, Paris, France
– Dorte Mandrup, Architect, Copenhagen, Denmark
– Carme Pigem, Architect, Olot, Spain
– Kazuyo Sejima, Architect, Tokyo, Japan
Dimitri Tenezakis, Architect, Head of Luxembourg and Strasbourg Major Construction Project Unit, Unit – DG INLO – European Parliament.

Design Challenge
European Parliament- Paul- Henri SPAAK Building
The Paul-Henri SPAAK Building is part of an estate of around ten buildings with a total area of some 665,000 sqm. The gross floor area of the current building is around 84,000 sqm and could be increased within existing urban planning constraints. It houses the Chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels for its 705 Members from all over the European Union.
The European Parliament, as a multicultural and multilingual assembly where no fewer than 24 languages are routinely spoken and interpreted, embodies the European motto ‘United in diversity’. The main building of the European Parliament’s Brussels site, the Paul-Henri SPAAK Building, houses not only
the Chamber, where Members meet in par-sessions , but also facilities for holding parliamentary committee meetings, organising press conferences and welcoming visitors.

The task of the competition is to provide the best solutions for the renewal of the European Parliament Chamber building and its surrounding area. The future building must create the link between the urban and the natural, and become a symbol and integral part of the city and of the landscape.
The winning proposal is expected to be a paradigm of architecture with an outstanding visual identity for the building and the Chamber Hall with a strong emphasis on environmental aspects. The design is to support the architectural quality of the city and will resonate with the European citizens as a representation of the power of their voice.
Offering flexible spaces, the building should be easily adaptable to the EP’s development over time and at the same time constitute a model of sustainable and regenerative building.

The prospective building will contain:

• the Chamber Hall, which will accommodate all Members as well as visitors;
• parliamentary committee and trilogue rooms;
• a reception, meeting and educational area for citizens;
• protocol areas;
• media areas;
• areas for cultural activities;
• areas for social interaction;
• support areas for all European Parliament activities.

Functions should be organized in a very user-friendly manner, with natural visibility that minimizes signage and with clear routes for users, including protocol, media, visitors and logistics. Visitors should furthermore be able
to follow a route that will give them a unique experience. Building flexibility should be such as to allow, in the short term, for multiple uses to be made of areas and, in the long term, for functions to be easily altered.

Location of the site
The Paul-Henri SPAAK Building is located in Brussels, capital of Belgium, and Europe. It is situated in Quartier Leopold, between rue Wiertz and Parc Leopold, on the edge of the estate of the European Parliament’s buildings.
The building is located at the junction of two urban planning zones in terms of form and functions and is next to a large park in Brussels, Parc Leopold, where various cultural and scientific establishments are located.

For more information and to apply, go to: