New life for offices: from the Belgacom building to the CGER
Proposals for converting large office blocks are becoming more common and raise many questions about what to do with these buildings inherited from the period between 1960 and 1980Set up a guided tour for a group
Proposals for converting large office blocks are becoming more common and raise many questions about what to do with these buildings inherited from the period between 1960 and 1980: should they be restored, renovated or demolished and rebuilt? In the Pentagon area inside the inner ring road, the number of office buildings is falling, following a trend that has been observed for several years and that is contributing to a rebalancing of functions in favour of housing. While its population is increasing above the regional average, the eastern city centre remains less populated than the rest of the city centre and is home to a lot of office buildings: in 2015, the office observatory counted 178,000 m² of offices that had been converted to other uses since 1997 (of which two-thirds had been converted to housing) from a stock of almost 2,000,000 m². Since then, more proposals have been made and will be implemented in the next few years, which will contribute to reinforce the urban nature of these districts by making them mixed-function, even if the office sector remains “over-represented.” The type, luxuriousness and destination of this new housing nevertheless raises questions about the (excessive) amount of student accommodation, affordability for poorer residents and its use as short-term tourist accommodation.