Gare Maritime in Brussels hosts event to celebrate its European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2021

On the afternoon of Saturday, 19 June, a festive event to celebrate the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2021 that was awarded to the Gare Maritime took place on site in Brussels. The Award was granted in recognition of the high-quality transformation of this former freight building on the Tour & Taxis site into a lively urban hub that has employed environmentally sustainable solutions throughout.

Local Award Ceremony for Gare Maritime, Brussels, Belgium

Some 60 participants attended the ceremony – which was held in full accordance with the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic – including members of Europa Nostra Belgium (whose General Assembly 2021 took place just before the Ceremony), and most of the staff members of the Europa Nostra Brussels office. The bronze award plaque was unveiled from under the European flag by the representatives of Extensa Group, which owns and funded the Gare Maritime project, Europa Nostra, Europa Nostra Belgium and the European Commission.

Local Award Ceremony for Gare Maritime, Brussels, Belgium

The concept surrounding the site’s transformation was presented by Kris Verhellen, the CEO of Extensa Group, and Peter De Durpel, COO of Extensa Group, with special attention paid to explaining the principles of carbon neutrality, geothermal energy use and self-sufficiency that have been incorporated into this project, elements which were considered especially noteworthy by the European Heritage Awards Jury when selecting the project to receive an Award.

Piet Jaspaert, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, and Paul Dujardin, President of Europa Nostra Belgium, were next to speak. Each underlined how the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards are connected to the broader scope of Europa Nostra’s and the European Commission’s mission and recent activities, especially the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus, an initiative with which the Gare Maritime project perfectly aligns.

Giorgio Guazzugli Marini, Deputy Head of the Creative Europe Unit at the Directorate General for Education, Arts and Culture, made the concluding remarks. He expressed his appreciation for the innovative results of the Gare Maritime project and underlined the value of the Awards scheme to the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Guided tours of the site offered the guests a unique and fascinating perspective of this exceptional building and the many innovative solutions that were used in the process of its recovery. During the guided visits, the guests also had the occasion to pass through the main building of the Tour & Taxis site, the Entrepôt Royal, whose exceptional restoration was awarded a European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award in 2008.

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