Located alongside the Canal, near Place Sainctelette, the Citroën-Yser garage was built in 1933 to plans drawn up by André Citroën itself, who wanted it to be Europe’s largest garage.
It was built on a plot of nearly 2 hectares, located between Quai des Péniches and the former Brussels heliport. Its total built area is approximately 48,000 m², and it consists of the showroom, workshops and offices.
Given its location and its iconic character, this is a strategic site for the implementation of the Canal Plan.
On it, the Brussels-Capital Region decided to develop a museum of modern and contemporary art of international stature: Kanal-Centre Pompidou.
The role of the Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI)
- The SAU-MSI acquired the premises of the Citroën-Yser garage in October 2015.
- In line with the provisions of the purchase deed, the garage remained operational while Citroën constructed a new building, opened in late 2017. The SAU-MSI facilitated this relocation by granting Citroën a lease on land on the opposite bank of the Canal, between the TIR centre and the Tour & Taxis site.
- In June 2015, the SAU-MSI launched an international tender process for the analysis of the site’s development potential. The winning team, selected from among 17 candidates, consisted of Dutch architect Wessel de Jonge and two firms of Belgian experts. It submitted its findings during summer 2016.
- On 29 September 2016, the Minister-President of the Brussels Region, Rudi Vervoort, and the president of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, Serge Lasvignes, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the transformation of the former garage into a cultural centre of global stature.
- On 28 April 2017, the SAU-MSI published a call for project designers for the conversion of the site into a venue that will host various facilities including a museum of modern and contemporary art and the International Centre for Urbanism, Architecture and Landscape (CIVA). This international architecture competition is one of the most important ever to have been organised in Brussels (work budget: 125 million euros excl. VAT).
- In July 2017, the SAU-MSI shortlisted seven teams from the 92 high-quality proposals received in response to the call for project designers.
- Launched by the SAU-MSI, this competition was taken over by the Fondation KANAL, which announced the winner on 22 March 2018: noA, EM2N and Sergison Bates. Work will begin in the autumn of 2019 and will be phased over several stages until the official opening in late 2022.
- The Fondation Kanal opened its inaugural exhibition – Kanal Brut – on 5 May 2018.