Australian Embassy, Brussels

The Australian Embassy to Belgium & Luxembourg and Mission to the European Union & NATO relocated to Level 7, 56 Avenue des Arts, Brussels in March 2013. Requiring a complete refurbishment of the existing tenancy including building services presented significant challenges to a fitout subject to complex IT and security obligations.
 
The chancery of 2800m2 is shared with DFAT, Defence, DAFF, Customs and DIISTRE and represents Australia’s interests within the EU and NATO in addition to its consular role.
 
The tenancy is located on the top floor of a 1960’s office building within the central European Quarter providing excellent views towards the Royal Palace.  The unique H shaped floor plate maximises natural daylight and views to the South, East and West, these views including the view towards the palace were utilised in the architectural design giving the fitout a level of openness and transparency. The functional planning includes specific gathering spaces, outside of offices and meeting rooms where these views can be experienced and allow an escape from the more pragmatic aspects of the work environment. These opportunities are used as orientation and destination points in the floor plan.
 
The overall architectural design intent was to provide an efficient, yet comfortable working environment for Embassy staff  whilst being representative of Australia through a strong, restrained material and colour palate. The design is intended to act as a backdrop to physical personalisation by its inhabitants while providing an environment of calm, sophistication for all who occupy the space.