Brussels to protect D’Ieteren’s headquarters building

The Brussels government is to launch the procedure to protect the D’Ieteren Group’s building in the Rue du Mail/Maliestraat in Ixelles. D’Ieteren recently announced plans to renovate its headquarters and prepare them for the future.

The Ixelles site covers 67 000 m² and has been owned by the D’Ieteren family since 1906. It has been progressively developed into one of the most important sites for its automotive activities.

René Stapels design

The complex consists of several buildings from different periods. The most remarkable part is located at Rue du Mail 50, which was built between 1962 and 1967 to a design by René Stapels.

The Belgian functionalist architect is best known for his contribution to the design of the headquarters of the Belgian Royal Bank, the World Trade Center towers, and the Inno building in Brussels.

The building is representative of the post-World War II architecture for companies, displaying its modernity and emphasizing functionality. It is relatively unique as this typology is not very common and is linked here to remarkable architecture.

More open

D’Ieteren Group wants to preserve the spirit of the building while considering the needs of the city. The British firm AL_A won the design competition. They want to make the site and the city block more open.

Offices, shops, and other facilities will be added, while the D’Ieteren Gallery will be retained. The garage activities will be relocated. By launching the procedure, the Brussels government wants to protect its modernist buildings.

“To save time and draw a clear line, I have asked for the registration on the preservation list to be prepared,” explains Brussels Secretary of State for town Planning and Heritage, Pascal Smet (Vooruit). “By launching this procedure, the building and its furniture are already protected, and we can move forward. This building must be approached ambitiously and creatively, without losing sight of its history.”

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