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September 21, 2021

Gare Maritime, Herman Teirlinck and ZIN

The current Flemish Government not only confirmed the objective for the transition to a circular economy by 2050; Flanders wants to be the trendsetter on circularity in Europe by 2030. According to the Flemish Minister for Economy, Hilde Crevits: ‘once the pandemic is over, we’ll need to powerfully, and above all sustainably, kick-start our economy. To that end, circular economy may represent a tremendous opportunity’.

Herman Teirlinck

This building was delivered in 2017, it earns the highest degree of sustainability for an office building in accordance with the Flemish Government’s valuation manual.


The circular thinking of the Flemish Government is also reflected in the future-oriented design of the ZIN building (formerly known as WTC1 and WTC2). One of the major occupants will be the Flemish Government, taking up 70.000 m² of the office space and moving in by 2023. The bar is set high in terms of circularity. Maximum re-use is made of the existing building.

Gare Maritime

In 2020 the Gare Maritime transformation was completed. Under impressive steel roofs Neutelings Riedijk Architects designed Gare Maritime as a city district: ‘a city where it never rains’. With far-reaching sustainability measures at all levels, Gare Maritime is an important contribution to the sustainable development of the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels.

Frank Geets, Peter de Durpel and Michiel Riedijk gave a presentation on this Projects.

This webinar was moderated by Marianne van der Sande.

Presentation Frank Geets

Presentation Peter de Durpel

Presentation Michiel Riedijk

Frank Geets (Flemish Government)

The presentation gives an insight into how we arrived at this concept and how it is implemented in practice.

Frank Geets is Administrator-general at the Agency For Facility Operations of the Flemish Government (Belgium). Being an advocate of sustainability, Frank Geets embedded it as one of the added values for the organization and developed with his board of directors a mission, vision and objective framework with sustainability as the common thread. In 2020 the agency received a SDG-champion certificate from UNITAR.

20190215 Brussel Belgium: portretfoto's van Frank Geets, manager bij het facilitair bedrijf Frank Geets; portret; facilitair bedrijf; vlaamse overheid 20190215124507 ID/ Lieven Van Assche

Peter de Durpel (Gare Maritime)

“The circular transformation of a former freight station into a vibrant new urban district”

Peter de Durpel is a civil engineer in structural engineering, graduated from the Polytechnic Department of the Royal Military Academy. He also completed an Executive Master in Real Estate at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management. Peter has been Chief Operating Officer at Extensa Group, real estate developer and owner of the Tour & Taxis site, since 2015.


Michiel Riedijk (Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Neutelings Riedijk Architects is architect of both the Herman Teirlinck Building as the Gare Maritime, two of the most exemplary sustainable developments in the Brussels region.

The Herman Teirlinck building is the largest detached passive office building of Belgium that meets the highest standards in terms of sustainability and energy performance: no less than 4 stars according to the ‘Valuation for office buildings’ by the Flemish government. Neutelings Riedijk Architects designed a compact building with optimal daylight access and the most advanced installations for climate control and energy. Green courtyards at different levels contribute to a healthy and pleasant climate for work.

The Gare Maritime, completed last year, was the next step in sustainable design for Neutelings Riedijk Architects on the Tour & Taxis site. Gare Maritime is state-of-the-art in sustainability: entirely energy neutral and fossil free. Circularity was a main starting point in this transformation. Under the existing steel roofs of the former station, twelve wooden pavilions have been added to accommodate the new program of 45.000 m2.The pavilions are constructed in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), making Gare Maritime the largest CLT-project in Europe.

Both projects contribute highly to the sustainable development of the Tour & Taxis site – the new place-to-be in Brussels.

Michiel Riedijk studied architecture at the Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands. In 1992 he established the Rotterdam based office Neutelings Riedijk Architects with Willem Jan Neutelings.

Besides being director and principal architect of Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Michiel Riedijk is also Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in Delft and regularly lectures at universities, cultural institutions and symposiums worldwide. Since Michiel Riedijk is recognized as International Fellow of the RIBA.

Michiel Riedijk is specialized in the design of public buildings. He has wide experience in balancing the complex functions and logistics of these projects with their often delicate and urban contexts to give them the significance in the public realm that their clients desire.

dsc05847091-Frank Hanswijk


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