Islands of Brussels

Steden workshop in the former police barracks

Every year, the Architectural Engineering department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel organises an Architecture Week together with the student association bru:tecture. During this week many internal and public events are taking place, organised by researchers and students. 

This year our students will do research on 'Islands of Brussels' during 3 workshops that take place during the Architecture Week. We describe 'Urban Islands' as places in the city that are very different from their surroundings according to function, morphology or appearance. Examples of such islands in Brussels are the Warandepark, the Gare Midi, Tour & Taxis, the VUB campus in Etterbeek etc. The research investigates and explores the relationship between the island and their surrounding environments. Can the islands' borders be seen as fracture lines or are the islands identifiable aspects of the urban fabric? The outcomes of the student workshop series gave food for thought in a panel discussion with Brussels Bouwmeester Maître Architecte Kristiaan Borret, professor Eric Corijn and rector Caroline Pauwels.

We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity to use one such island as the location for our the events. The former Barracks of Ixelles is our home for one week. This place has never before been open to the public.