Place Schuman

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A meeting point for
Europeans

Year: First prize in competition 2017, completed 2025

Client: Bruxelles Mobilité

Program: Urban plaza

Size: 34.000 m²

Located in the heart of the European Quarter in Brussels, Belgium, and surrounded by the main institutions of the European Union, Place Schuman constitutes the entrance to the EU. By transforming a busy roundabout into a democratic meeting place, all citizens and institutions of the European Union are unified under one mirroring roof. Place Schuman aims to transform the European Quarter from a place for cars into a generous public space for people. The project consists of a pavilion covered with an iconic roof structure reflecting the square and the people below, creating a meeting place for nationalities, cultures, languages and genders, drawing inspiration from the ancient Greek agora, the cradle of democracy. The plaza is designed as a series of concentric circles, inspired by the European Parliament’s Hemicycle. The circles continue in the surrounding paving, emphasizing Place Schuman as the epicenter of modern European democracy.

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As the capital of the European Union, Brussels is the epicenter of modern European democracy.

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Place Schuman draws inspiration from the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.
CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2019 – Source: EP

A meeting place for all
Europeans under one
roof

How to create an open and democratic space?

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Today, the main institutions of the EU are separated by a busy roundabout.

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The site is part of the historic street Rue de la Loi, a principal road running through central Brussels.

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A cross-linked grid connects to a network of existing public spaces.

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The network of public spaces all point towards Place Schuman, making it the entrance and pulse of the European Union.

Place Schuman transforms the former roundabout into an urban space and meeting place for the entire European Union. The new entrance will be a unifying element, creating a meeting place for nationalities, cultures, languages and genders.

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Place Schuman offers a terraced meeting place, an urban agora, inspired by the hemicycle of the European Parliament.

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A reflective roof funnels visual impressions of the neighbouring institutions and reflects the presence of the people.

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A shared urban space transforming the European Quarter from a setting for cars into a setting for people.

Connecting Place Schuman to the neigbouring Cinquantenaire Park

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Within this vast area different realms are created, and a multitude of activities can be accomodated along the Rue de la Loi.

The neighbouring Cinquantenaire Park and the bridge over Chausée d’Etterbeek will connect with the Place Schuman via a large pedestrian area with a concentric, continuous pavement, underscoring the role of Place Schuman as the center of European democracy.

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Place Schuman will be permanently accessible as a setting for democracy and knowledge sharing. It provides a place to sit, to linger, to protest, to discuss, to reflect and to discuss politics. Here, all citizens of the EU will be united under one roof.

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Location: Brussels, Belgium, Completed in 2025

Client: Bruxelles Mobilité

Program: Urban plaza

Size: 34.000 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2017, completed 2025

Collaborators: BRUT, ARA, UTIL, Buro MOVE

Team: Caroline Nagel, Dan Stubbergaard, Dorte Buchardt Westergaard, Karoline Liedtke, Maria Aufegger, Matilda Andersson, Matti Hein Nørgaard, Nika Koraca, Rasmus Lassen, Søren Schaumburg Jensen.

Image Credits: Please note that we had used a small number of images for which the copyright holders could not be identified. In these cases it has been our assumption that such images belong to the public domain. If you claim ownership of any of the images presented and have not been properly identified, please notify Cobe and we will make a formal acknowledgement.