A new (love) story?
During the ’60s and ‘70s the Brussels North area changed completely during the implementation of the Manhattan Plan. The plan was to transform the then so lively North area, with cafés, cinemas and shopping streets, into an office complex. The new ‘crossroads of Europe’ with its European motorways was to emerge here. Ultimately only 3 of the 78 towers were finished, and the motorways never arrived.
The North area today is a victim of the dominating presence of the supposed motorway on the Boulevard du Roi Albert II, which ultimately never arrived. It has no connection with the rest of the city and is seen as an superfluous and introverted area. The rethinking of the current WTC complex is a chance to break that dominance and highlight the diversity of the property.
ZIN wants to do it differently and better. With ZIN, a new breeze is blowing through the Brussels North area. Its multifunctional use and openness to the city are important aspects of this. The concentration of life and activities opens up in all directions, toward the North Station and the central avenue as well as the Canal and Tour & Taxis.
With ZIN we’re looking to the future, without forgetting the past.
Befimmo is a cofounder of the Up4North association that consists of eight property owners in the North area. The mission of Up4North is to breathe new life into the North area. The Up4North project aims to introduce mixed functions into the district again, by facilitating contacts between large companies and start-ups, the cultural world and community groups, residents and visitors, and local as well as national and international participants.
To give momentum to that dynamic, Befimmo temporarily made a number of floors of the WTC 1 building available to a large number of players (architects, contractors, artists, students, etc.). They were focused on one single aim, namely contributing, each according to their own skills, to the project for the revitalisation of the neighbourhood.