“Unbuilt Brussels #2” – The new exhibition at the Architecture Centre CIVA reveals its remarkable archive of Brussels projects that have not been built, from 1836 to 1952. For all lovers of the city.
What if there would have been a high-speed train line above the city, as Luc Deleu imagined in 1986? What if the gare du Midi had been decked out with a vertiginous clock tower, as proposed by Lucien de Vestel in 1936? And what if the Royal Library had been at the Botanique, rather than the Mont des Arts, as envisaged by Maxime Brunfaut in 1938? With the exhibition (re)compose the city, CIVA, the international centre for the city, architecture and landscape, examines the present in the light of unrealised projects that lived on the imagination of famous architects.
By tapping into its rich archives to retrieve plans and drawings that have never before been revealed, CIVA returns to the history of the railway junction North-South and iconic locations along the line: gare du Midi, Centrale and du Nord, the Mont des Arts, the Royal Library and the Administration. Nuggets of history illustrated through 150 rare documents, 60 old and aborted projects, period films, and, in the centre of the exhibition, a huge model built by artist/architect Luc Deleu. The exhibition recounts the history of a city, still marked by the construction of the North-South junction and its “bruxellisation”, but it can also illuminate the current issues in urban planning in Brussels.