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October 5, 2009

Brussels venue celebrates stunning renovation

A spectacular opening show towards the end of last month marked the re-launch of a conference centre that has been eagerly awaited in home country Belgium and beyond.

The SquareBrussels meeting centre is now one of Europe’s most progressive, artistic and inviting events venues. It is the result of an incredibly impressive rebuilding project, which finished on schedule and within budget – a first for a renovation project funded by the Belgian Government.

Offering 13,000 square metres of meeting space in Brussels, Square as got the credentials to be very versatile, with the ability to handle everything from international conferences to product launches and fashion shows.

White fantastic: One of SquareBrussels' stunning spaces

Located on the Mont des Arts, amid the Belgian capital’s the finest museums in Brussels, the venue is within walking distance of the Grand Place, the Sablon and cultural attractions. It’s also close to hotels, restaurants and shopping centres, and is easily accessible by public transport.

The stately architecture of the Congress Palace, Square’s original guise, inaugurated during the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958, has been renovated, expanded and renamed. The Brussels architects A.2R.C, together with Portuguese style moderator Juan Trindade, dismantled the gloomy, outdated conference rooms and rebuilt them with a warm look and feel.

Some 30 months and €75 million later, the Congress Palace’s historic garden of René Pècheré now boasts a bold glass entrance. Atelier Jéol, the renowned studio responsible for the lighting of the Hermitage in St Petersburg and of Jerusalem, have also designed a unique lighting plan for the Albertina Park and its surroundings.
Inside its magnificent building, Square houses other artistic masterpieces. Original murals by Paul Delvaux, René Magritte and Louis van Lint have been carefully restored. Yet the venue dares to combine artistic heritage with contemporary design.
So confident is Brussels in the success of Square that it has predicted that the venue will turnover €12 million a year, and contribute €60 million annually to the capital’s economy through the delegates that it will bring to the city.

On the management side, Square’s owner, NV Congrespaleis, has signed an agreement with GL events to run of the conference centre. Only time will tell whether the partnership will be a success, but the signs so far are certainly positive.


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