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This time a bank building from Brussels, Belgium. It is one of the best examples of modernist architecture and one of the best known in the area (if you ask design related locals to recommend nice modernist building this will be the one).

Modernist bank building in Broekstraat 1

Prefabricated concrete pieces mounted together with the help of metal pieces and tension cables, make an intricate façade. The building looks contemporary enough, some designers nowadays copy the style, however the level of detailing and quality of execution is difficult to match. I can hardly imagine what building, built in recent years, will be looking at least ok, 50 years down the road.

Modernist bank building in Broekstraat 2

Very sculptural corner detail:

 Modernist bank building in Broekstraat 3

The building is in a very good condition, my guess is that concrete façade must have been cleaned-up recently.

Modernist bank building in Broekstraat 4

View from the street, Brussels as a permanent construction site (changes for the better, thought) :

Modernist bank building in Broekstraat 5

However and sadly my on-line search could not retrieve any information about the building nor who designed it. It would be great if anyone from the readers could tell me, if they happen to possess such information.

Currently used as a headquarters for a Dexia bank, this building marks the great times of Brussels architecture. Designed and build in 1969, it features some well executed details. Most people nowadays would probably call it ugly. Surely this is not the only of the type or the most spectacular office building of the region, but it shows the period and is a living example of  the true spirit of Brussels – the endless bureaucracy (fr. bureau + gr. κράτος kratos – rule or power).

Click image to enlarge

And still as a bank building of the 60′s it still looks good and contemporary enough nowadays. I especially like the decorative façade, which stands a bit away from the structure and the windows. This type of solution gives some architectural play – the slightly sculptural window patterns cast  shadows on the tinted windows as if putting some lace on the office box.

This building is 13 stories high and it is 56 meters.

The shiny façade finish (at least on a sunny day!) was the element what attracted me to this building, since dominating shades in the city are rather grey. Upon closer inspection it is obvious, that the façade is well detailed, especially the corners are neat.

click to enlarge

However I must express a doubt about operable exterior blinds: Brussels is dusty city, therefore the blinds are going to be very dirty in a matter of few months.

This buildings has an inner enclosed courtyard.

On the very bottom right photo a booth for garage parking-meter is photographed.

Extension and renovation building in Rue de Belgrade, Brussels.

click to enlarge

Some more contemporary architecture from Brussels, well hidden, as usual. Street façade and street view.

The building is located not very far from MIdi train station and it is just next to the tram depot – that is the massive brick building on the left of the street view.

Renovation and extension of former industrial building. at Zennestraat/Rue de la Senne, current function: apartments. Designed by Vanhaerents and Lhoas & Lhoas Architectes.

click to enlarge

The sign on the corner is a poetic reminder  that the street once was a river (Zenne street is named after the river that once used to flow here, but has long been running underground). This building asks “Cry Me A River” and New York New Museum of Contemporary Art responds: “Hell, Yes!“.

Colourful balconies give nice reflections to the buildings across the street on a sunny day. This project became one of the first revival signs of the still rather run-down neighbourhood.

Buurthuis / maison de quartier at Nijverheidskaai / Quai de L’Industrie street:

click to enlarge

This community building happens to be on my favourite cycling route in Brussels, next to the canal. The best on the route!
Between a social housing block, and a chop-shop (and I always get talked to!).

Extension and renovation building in Rue du Peuplier, Brussels.

click to enlarge

This was photographed during unusually sunny summer of 2011, hopefully this snow white building looks as good against more common grey sky too.
I did not succeed to find who designed the building nor any other photos of the project on the Internet. If you happen to know the architect’s name I would be more than happy to add this information.

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