Purpose of the competitionThe European Parliament has decided to launch this restricted international design competition for the renewal of the Paul-Henri SPAAK Building. The notion of “renewal” covers all approaches between a “renovation” of the building, and a “reconstruction” of the building. It is one of the main components of the competition task to identify the right approach.
© European Union

The Paul-Henri SPAAK Building is part of an estate of around ten buildings with a total area of some 665,000 sq m. The gross floor area of the current building is around 84,000 sq m 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 aim of the competition is to select the concept that reaches the best equilibrium between the different objectives of the project and to select the planning team with whom their design is to be realised.


Urban Integration and Links
We seek the best planning solutions for the Paul-Henri SPAAK building and its surrounding area. The future renovated or reconstructed building must create the links between the urban and the natural, and become a symbol and integral part of the city and of the landscape.
Architectural Identity
We seek a paradigm of architecture and strong visual identity for the building and the Chamber. This design should support the architectural quality of the city and resonate with the European citizens as a representation of the power of their voice.
Cultural Hub
We seek a building that engages in dialogue with citizens and the city, a welcome centre for visitors and a focus of culture and debates for city residents.
Flexible Use
We seek a building that offers flexible spaces and must be able to adapt easily to the EP's development over time. The project must take into account the relationship between functions and between the building's different users.
We seek a positive example of sustainable and regenerative building. The design should feature bio-climatic principles, environmentally friendly solutions and a circular economy approach to reusing materials, which is in accordance with the Brussels-Capital Region environmental objectives. The building must strive to set an example in terms of well-being, accessibility and environmental parameters.
The VisionThe European Parliament is a symbolic heart and home of European democracy, central to the continent’s modern history. Its building heritage is significant not only for the European legislators, but also for citizens, in that it provides important public spaces for dialogue and for experiencing European democracy and its values and is also a focal point for European celebrations and commemorations of our joint democratic heritage. The building heritage should be preserved and further developed as a strong symbol of our modern history. In the course of the European project, there have been a number of enlargements; there are currently 27 Member States. The European Parliament, through its directly elected Members, represents more than 445 million European citizens. During this historical process, it has expanded the parliamentary estate and adapted its facilities so as to reflect its growing role as a fully-fledged co-legislator by providing Members with the best possible working conditions. Parliament’s expanded powers have made it necessary to strengthen ties with citizens and give them a better insight into the European project. The overall strategic goal of the project is to improve the sustainability of the building in terms of all dimensions of sustainability.
LocationGeographical location
The Paul-Henri SPAAK Building is located in Brussels, capital of Belgium, specifically within the Brussels City local authority.

Competition site within regional context

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 Léopold, where various cultural and scientific establishments are located.

Competition site within the city context

The Paul-Henri SPAAK Building is situated in Quartier Léopold, between rue Wiertz and Parc Léopold, on the edge of the estate of the European Parliament’s buildings in Brussels.

Competition site