VRT Broadcast Building Schaarbeek

Competition project for a new building with 72.000 m² of flexible offices, radio and TV studios and facilities for the Flemish public broadcaster of the Flemish community VRT







Architecten Achtergael
partner architect
jo taillieu architecten
partner architect
Karres en Brands
design landscape
structural engineering
Studieburo De Klerck Engineering
MEP engineering
Kahle Acoustics
acoustical engineering
Bureau De Fonseca
acoustical engineering
sustainability engineering
Bureau d'Etudes Delta G.C.
fire safety engineering
CIT Blaton
general contracting

Architecten Achtergael, META architectuurbureau and jo taillieu architecten designed a particularly compact building for the VRT with a clear division between the specific and the generic programme and with clear circulation lines. They proposed a building with maximum height combined with a robust base volume. The roof surface of the base volume can be used as a vast garden comprising, among other things, the Ketnet playground, a sports field and an amphitheatre.

The public broadcaster of the Flemish Community (VRT) is in urgent need of a new home. The entire green site will be redeveloped, with the new VRT building being given a compact plot on the edge of a publicly accessible Mediapark. The remaining park edges will be filled in with residential and office buildings for companies in the audiovisual sector, including the new building of the public broadcaster of the French-speaking Community (RTBF). Both buildings are the protagonists of the new Mediapark.

Besides the pertinent decision to design a particularly compact building, a thorough programme study led to a clear division between the specific programme (which can only function under customized conditions, such as TV studios) and the generic programme (which can be fitted flexibly, such as offices). Close attention was also paid to designing clear and logical circulation lines within the complex connections of the various functions. This analysis resulted in a building with maximum height combined with a robust base volume. The roof surface of the base can serve as a vast garden comprising various zones and will be accessible to all VRT staff members.

The three TV studios with accompanying logistics areas will be located at the level of Verlainestraat. An intermediate level makes it possible to provide daylight for the dressing rooms and crew facilities within a short walking distance from the studios.

Giving onto the Mediaplein, the ground floor is largely public or semi-public. In addition to the market square and the staff restaurant, there is also the events space with foyer, which can be used independently or together with the VRT rooms.

Workplaces are integrated on the upper floors. Level +1 accommodates the news brands VRT NWS (which has its own news studio), Sporza and Radio 1. All the upper floors are home to generic office space that can be used freely and flexibly by the other VRT brands (Eén, Canvas, Ketnet, Radio 2, Klara, Studio Brussel and MNM), with recording and broadcasting facilities and support services for each brand. The top level will be used as a technical floor. The radio studios are positioned very visibly in the façade.

The relation between the building and the public space is maximized through the large transparent glass surfaces and the stairs in the façade that connect all floor levels.

The roof garden consists of various zones, including an outdoor studio, an open-air amphitheatre, a terrace with pergola, the Ketnet playground and a sports field. The garden will also be accessible to all VRT staff members.

The service entrance is located two floors down, on the side of Verlainestraat, with underground parking (for visitors, service vehicles and staff) and the building’s logistics cluster.