A major new cultural centre to raise the profile of Europe’s Capital
Devoting a 35,000 m2 building to culture: is such an undertaking still possible nowadays?
The Brussels-Capital Region has decided to answer this question with a resounding and ambitious ‘yes’. It plans to create the largest museum in Brussels since the beginning of the 20th century. Because it is convinced that, more than ever before, emancipation and the life of the community depend on culture; and because it aspires to make this new cultural centre both a lever for the development of an urban region in the midst of regeneration and a showcase that will raise the profile of Europe’s Capital. The Citroën Cultural Centre represents a new ambition for every inhabitant of Brussels, a proactive project on behalf of a district, a city and a country. This major new cultural centre right in the heart of Brussels will celebrate creativity in the city, boost cultural tourism and give every one of its inhabitants a cultural venue that is accessible and educational.
In addition to the areas dedicated to cultural exhibitions, multipurpose leisure and education spaces are also part of the plans. Because, crucially, the ambition is also to provide public spaces inside the building, since this project is all about creating a venue that is open to all.
In terms of modern and contemporary art, architecture and culture in general, Brussels is obviously already a city of many assets. One of Europe’s leading cultural hubs, the Capital-Region is home to a large number of institutions dedicated to a huge range of artistic disciplines. It attracts audiences from all over Belgium and further afield, and artists of all types, drawn by the creative melting-pot of Brussels’ different districts; their combined talents help to make Brussels a true cultural capital.
The missing pieces in this magnificent jigsaw are a museum of modern and contemporary art and a museum of architecture. Two museums, both of which must be of a sufficiently high standard to reflect the Belgian, and more specifically the Brussels tradition in these fields; and to reflect, too, the quality of the collections, both public and private, elsewhere in Brussels and Belgium.
Although Brussels has always been at the cutting edge in these two fields, this creativity has all too often remained relatively unrecognised in the city itself. Accordingly, another ambition of the Citroën Cultural Centre is to shine a brighter light on Brussels. As a place that fosters inventiveness, creativity, dreams and innovation and offers support to artists, Brussels deserves such a cultural centre.