Traces of the past


Heritage: "the evidence of the past" according to Collins Dictionary. We do value heritage, because we think the past is important. Many students, staff members and researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel influenced science and left their mark on Belgian and Brussels society. Although the VUB is a relatively young university (° 1969), its origins lie in 1834 - the emergence of the ULB - and in 1856 - the first Flemish student association at the ULB. The university is proud of its past and is committed to preserving its heritage and making it accessible to society. On and around the university campuses daily traces of the past can still be found: traces of the history of the university and its campuses.

Movable and intangible cultural heritage

The (analog and digital) cultural heritage of Vrije Universiteit Brussel is managed by CAVA, the  Centre for Secular and Academic Archives. CAVA collects, preserves, discloses and valorises the archive and the scientific heritage of the university as well as of the liberal-humanist community in Flanders and Brussels. Its archives include more than 3 running km of documents and artefacts. On a regular basis, CAVA organizes lectures, exhibitions or guided tours and also shares information on its collection in the form of articles or Facebook posts. Intangible heritage is richly present at the university, for example the various student rituals and student activities embedded in history. CAVA is one of the university actors in stimulating and preserving the intangible heritage. 


Immovable heritage

Following the establishment of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a new university campus was built on the former military training square of the barracks quarter in Ixelles-Etterbeek. It is the start of a story of continuous evolution, of building, reconstructing and renovating. Today, some of the first campus buildings in their 1970's brutalist and modernist style, are characteristic for the campuses of our university. But what at first sight might give the impression of a concrete jungle also includes innovative new construction projects, architectural pearls, protected monuments and hidden treasures ...


At the Vrije Universiteit Brussel many actions and initiatives take place with regard to campus architecture and immovable heritage. Here's an overview of what's coming up.

Braembuilding - the rectorate and its murals

Read more (in Dutch)

Willy Van Der Meeren Student Housing

Research by the æ-LAB

Make a contribution and support the restoration of the Braembuilding

VUB Foundation

Immovable heritage of the future

Discover our new developments

Stay in touch!

A community to discuss campus heritage, university memories and current opinions with fellow enthusiasts?

Join our campus architecture community on facebook

Do you have additions for this page? Do you wish to elaborate an article about the immovable heritage on-campus or did you set up a project yourself?

Are you interested in organizing a guided tour in the Braembuilding (rectorate) of the VUB?

We are open to that!

Contact Isabelle Selleslag via isabelle.selleslag@vub.be