The project

NEO is the construction of a new district on an historical site near the Atomium.

NEO is an ambitious and visionary re-urbanisation based on the sustainable development of a multitude of different urban facilities and functions.

NEO is a centre of human, economic, commercial, touristic, cultural, leisure and home development, creating 5,000 new jobs in the long-term.

NEO is a development opportunity for the whole country and its three regions (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia). In addition to the other facilities, the activity of the international convention centre will directly benefit the economy of neighbouring areas.

NEO Brussels is a “capital” project in the heart of Europe that will attract 15 million visitors a year.

See video -NEO/Europea

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News

  • parking-C

    Total renovation of car park C to improve convenience and quality of life

    The NEO project includes a plan that car park C, which is used for many large events at Heysel, should be totally rebuilt underground. This should provide both better parking facilities for motorists and high-quality development above ground. The car park will offer 10,000 places split over five levels. It will also be designed to […]

  • Houbba

    Heysel will become the country’s largest public transport hub

    No less than seven STIB public transport lines already serve Heysel. And with the prospect of the NEO project, this number will grow even bigger. By mid-2019, three new tram lines will link up with Heysel and its new facilities. The first phase of the development of tram line 9 is currently in progress. Brussels […]

About

The NEO project is coordinated by NEO SCRL/CVBA which is the legal representative of the Brussels-Capital Region and the City of Brussels.

This legal framework and the defined capital of 335 million euros illustrates the public authorities’ commitment to construct an ambitious, credible and long-lasting project.

The NEO company guarantees control of the project by the two public institutions and good management of public money and the community.

Public/private partnership Philosophy of the project The team

Housing

A total of 750 new homes will be built on the site, of which 15% will be public housing. These homes are in response to the demographic development of Brussels. They will also create life in the area, day and night. There are currently no homes on the site!

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Housing
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Housing

Housing

NEO aims to create around 750 homes, a minimum of 500 of which will be built in the first phase. They are certainly necessary! Particularly since none exist on the site today.

The creation of housing is perfectly in keeping with the rest of the project. The re-urbanisation of the Heysel Plateau is an opportunity to create not only a new district with a mix of functions and activities, but also new inhabitants to lay claim to this new area!

These homes must also contribute to the economic development of the Heysel Plateau and Brussels. In view of the quality of the site, the proximity of parks, shops and the whole range of new functions provided, these homes will encourage social diversity in the new neighbourhood.

Green areas with attractive and effective landscaping

One third of the total surface area of the site will be vegetation and green spaces. NEO will thus be an attractive walking area with designed footpaths. The numerous green areas and public spaces will create an area of exceptional wellbeing and conviviality. The marriage of urbanity and nature will therefore be entirely harmonious (smart city & green city).

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Green areas with attractive and effective landscaping
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Green areas with attractive and effective landscaping

Green areas with attractive and effective landscaping

From the beginning, the NEO project demonstrated its aim to adopt a maximum of best practices in terms of sustainable development. This commitment has naturally helped encourage the spread of green areas throughout the site.

A huge “green link” will join Avenue de Madrid with Avenue Houba de Strooper. This will allow the area dedicated to walking, sport and relaxation to be increased significantly.

Sports grounds (tennis, athletics, rugby, football and more) will be included in these new green areas.

This healthy new fresh-air space for walking, relaxation and sport will obviously contribute to the global dynamic of a rejuvenated Heysel Plateau.

It goes without saying that beyond the creation of new green areas, all future developments of the site, and particularly the architectural projects and community facilities will respect the commitments made by NEO developers, namely to follow the very strict specifications of sustainable development.

Shopping district

72,000 m² of shops and 9,000 m² for the catering industry (200 boutiques and 30 restaurants) will create a new shopping experience. The 4-star rating ensures that high standards are maintained. Visitors, tourists, congress delegates and local Brussels residents will be able to enjoy highly attractive retail outlets. Huge glass windows will create an ambience of light.

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Shopping district

Shopping district

The north of Brussels area has a significant lack of shopping centres compared to the Belgian average, and even more so compared to the European average.

The business development plan ordered by Minister-President Charles Picqué in 2006 already showed the deficiency of this area and recommended building one or two shopping centres. According to Professor Grimaud (geography-urban sociology, ULB), Brussels could open an additional 233,000 m² to reach the level of large Belgian cities.

We believe that the shopping centre as planned (approximately 70,000 m² of shops and 9,000 m² of catering outlets) responds perfectly to this need and will be an additional asset for the site. Indeed the Heysel shopping centre will have a supra-regional dimension without however being a monolithic block, like many of the ancient shopping centres. The location of Heysel for the new shopping centre is also ideal in terms of mobility (cf Europea).

Indeed, a combination of enhanced existing infrastructure and new mobility projects will enable the public to access the shopping centre both by public transport and private car. The site already enjoys a public transport service unique in Belgium with three metro stations and three tram lines (7, 51 and 94). This service will be further improved by increasing metro frequency, improving station access to and from new site facilities, and extending three tram lines and adding a fourth (line 3).

The shopping centre will also have a unique advantage compared to other similar centres: it is situated in a tourist area and moreover, one of the most visited in Belgium.

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Shopping district

Palais 12

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This multifunctional concert and entertainment hall has been in operation since 2014 and seats up to 18.000 people. It has already proved to be a huge success. The acoustics and technology of the hall attract particularly top international singers.

Leisure park

The provision of leisure facilities responds to the need to develop Brussels as a tourist destination. These facilities will also invigorate activities across the whole region. The Spirouland indoor theme park, the Cité des Enfants (children’s city), a swimming pool, 21 cinema theatres, the Euroville adventure park, a spa & fitness centre overlooking the sports grounds, and the Atomium will be the site’s main pleasure and relaxation attractions.

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Leisure park

Leisure park

It is important that the site also develops in terms of conviviality, in order to become even more attractive as the place to go on a day’s outing for families, tourists and the general public.

The Atomium is of course already a major asset for the Heysel Plateau. And the attractiveness of the site has increased enormously thanks to the opening of Palais 12, the new concert and entertainment centre.

This concert hall now has a capacity of 18,000 spectators, enabling Brussels to host new cultural and sporting events.

To strengthen the site’s conviviality and build attraction – already considerable due to the Atomium – the provision of leisure facilities has been totally revised (cf Europea).

The development of green areas and integration of high-quality sports infrastructure (in cooperation with the associations currently operating on the site) also help to increase the attractiveness of the site.

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Leisure park

Sports park

NEO will be a major centre for outdoor sports activities, spread across 27 hectares. Various independent clusters will provide modern facilities for football, rugby, hockey, archery, athletics, volley ball, basketball, mini football and petanque, amongst others.

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Sports park

Sports park

The goal is to make the Heysel Plateau a major attraction for outdoor sports activities for the whole of Brussels. These sports facilities will be used both for the organisation of top-level sporting events and for all residents and young people from neighbouring areas.

Communication (particularly via the use of questionnaires) with all sports clubs will enable this approach to be adapted and achieve optimal organisation and operation.

Through its ambitious approach and the activity it will generate, the sports park brings a healthy dimension to the NEO project. The walking paths and green spaces surrounding it will create a shrine for the city.

International convention centre and up-market hotel

The convention centre must be able to host various events (meetings, congresses, international conventions, shows and other attractions) both simultaneously and separately, with up to 5,000 participants and in accordance with the strictest norms of security, simultaneous translation in a minimum of four languages, and audio-visual communication and digital technology.

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International convention centre and up-market hotel
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International convention centre and up-market hotel

International convention centre and up-market hotel

The Brussels International Development plan (2007) identified a certain number of infrastructure deficiencies which handicap Brussels’ status as an international capital. This is regrettable since Brussels wishes to strengthen its position as an international capital and offer a maximum of facilities to the institutions its hosts.

Against this background, the construction of a convention centre of international dimensions (UN level) is absolutely essential.

Business tourism already plays a major role in the economic activity of the Brussels region. This asset needs to be strengthened!

The construction of a convention centre accommodating 5,000 delegates, with a plenary room of 3500 seats, is therefore a big step forward in accentuating the dynamism of Brussels in terms of business tourism. The proximity of Brussels Expo and the development of a touristic, shopping and leisure centre nearby create an ideal synergy and enhance the added value of the various functions.

The presence of this convention centre on the Heysel Plateau will without any doubt be an asset in identifying an urban centre in the north of Brussels.

The future national stadium will be built on the current car park C site, with a capacity of 60,000 seats. In the long run, the actual King Baudouin Stadium will be replaced by constructions and public areas.

Mobility

The site already enjoys an outstanding service with several bus routes, three metro stations and two tram stops. New investment will ensure that the current infrastructure and means of transport are adapted to suit the new dimensions of the project. Inside the district, “soft mobility” (green transport) will prevail. 3,700 underground parking places are planned.

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Mobility
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Mobility

Mobility

It is obviously necessary to improve automobile accessibility to the Heysel zone while giving preference to public transport. At the same time, it is imperative to preserve the quality of life and safety of neighbouring areas. These objectives imply, amongst other measures, having a better link between car park C and the Heysel Plateau as well as improved accessibility to Heysel from the A12 (bottleneck in the north of Laeken and the areas around Grimbergen and Wemmel).

Brussels Expo

Brussels Expo is the major player for all public events organised in the capital of Europe. Thanks to its historical infrastructure with more than 115,000 m² of event space across 12 halls, Brussels Expo is host to a wide range of fairs, trade shows and all types of events (including shows and concerts in the dedicated area of Palais 12).

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Brussels Expo
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Brussels Expo

Brussels Expo

With its 115,000 m² of space, Brussels Expo is the largest exhibition centre in Brussels. It hosts fairs, congresses, trade shows, and professional and public events. Behind the architectural façade, facilities include the most modern technologies of the 21st century.

Brussels Expo offers 12 impressive halls, five of which date from the Brussels International Exposition of 1935. The other halls were built between 1958, date of the second international exposition, and 1998. All the halls are equipped with the latest technology.

In September 2013 Palais 12 was transformed into a totally modular hall dedicated to top-level concerts and shows.

The Atomium

The Atomium is one of the largest of its kind in Europe! It was created for the International Exposition of 1935. The aim was to blend the science world with the world of industry.

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The Atomium

The Atomium

The Atomium is a strong symbol of Belgium and Brussels. The majestic landmark is both sculpture and architecture. A magnificent vestige of the past with a very futuristic look. Museum and exhibition site, the Atomium is an object, a place, a space, a utopia and an icon unique to the world…eluding all forms of classification!

The Atomium was created and built for the International Exposition of 1958, of which it was the iconic construction and emblem. With its slogan “Building a world for modern man” Expo 58 strived to be the expression of the democratic desire for peace between all nations, belief in technical and scientific progress, and an optimistic vision in the future of a new, modern and hyper-technological world which should enable mankind to live better.

The pacific use of atomic energy for scientific purposes – such as medical scanning and the production of electricity – expressed these themes particularly well and determined the form of the Atomium. With a height of 102 metres, its nine connected spheres represent an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times. The Atomium was conceived by engineer André Waterkeyn (1917-2005).

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The Atomium

Planetarium

The Brussels Planetarium is one of the largest in Europe! It was created at the time of the Brussels International Exposition of 1935, with the aim of combining the worlds of science and industry.

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Planetarium

Planetarium

The Brussels Planetarium is one of the largest in Europe! It was created at the time of the Brussels International Exposition of 1935, with the aim of combining the worlds of science and industry.

The night sky is reproduced perfectly on the domed ceiling thanks to an extremely complex digital projection system called “planétaire” which can project the sun, the moon, the planets and the Milky Way.

Spectators are immerged in the heart of an impressive display projected on the entire 840m2vaulted ceiling, with a rich astronomic data base of 100,000 stars. The sky as it can be seen with the naked eye from any place on earth, and at any time in history, is reproduced perfectly.

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Planetarium

Public Spaces

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The competition

The City of Brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region launch the second phase of the NEO project.

Contract notice Press release