Building permit granted for new KU Leuven campus in Pacheco building

Building permit granted for new KU Leuven campus in Pacheco building
Building permit granted for new KU Leuven campus in Pacheco building

The modernist Pacheco building from 1969, which originally contained bank offices and a shopping arcade, is being given a new future. Belfius Insurance received a building permit for the renovation and transformation of the building into a new KU Leuven student campus. Brussels State Secretary for Urban Planning Pascal Smet ( reports this.

A year ago, Brussels State Secretary Pascal Smet, Belfius Insurance and KU Leuven announced that they had found a solution to keep the Meyboom building on the corner of Zandstraat and Broekstraat. The future campus of KU Leuven would no longer be located in Zandstraat, but on the plinth of the Pacheco building, which is owned by Belfius Insurance. Today, a year later, Pascal Smet, KU Leuven and Belfius Insurance jointly announce that the entire project has now been designed and that the Brussels Region has granted a building permit.

The current building will be preserved and upgraded. “We consciously opt for renovation and for a design that shows great respect for the original modernist architecture,” says Smet. “We make use of the roof by providing a beautiful roof garden with a view of the Botanique. We combine many urban functions so that there will be 24/7 activity in and around the building. And we give a huge push to a neighborhood in full development. In short, a showcase of how we are doing urban planning in Brussels today.”

‘Living Campus’

The beating heart of the project will be the ‘Living Campus’ of KU Leuven in the plinth of the building. There will be auditoriums, classrooms, a learning center with library, practice rooms and meeting rooms, together making up a university building of approximately 21,000 m².

“Passage 44 was once a popular cultural and commercial pole in the city,” says Brussels Alderman for Urbanism and Public Space, Ans Persoons ( “After years of vacancy, the place is now being given a new meaning. The KU Leuven project is the first in a long line of developments that will breathe new life into stately administrative buildings on Pachecolaan.”

In addition to the renovation and conversion of the plinth, two new volumes are planned. Here, among other things, student housing and communal dining and living areas can be provided. René Pechère’s famous roof gardens are also being restored.

Accessible location

The new KU Leuven campus will be located in a very easily accessible location. The university is therefore satisfied with the building permit. “With this transformation, we are also taking a solid step forward in Brussels,” says Rector Luc Sels. “The renovation of the Pacheco building offers us the necessary educational and research space for the increasing number of colleagues and students who find their way to KU Leuven in Brussels. In addition, we also want to use this project to integrate Odisee and LUCA together with our partner university colleges. focus on new forms of education and work, something that this spacious area also lends itself perfectly to.”

Thanks to the solution that State Secretary Pascal Smet, KU Leuven and Belfius Insurance found last year, the stately Meyboom building on the corner of Zandstraat and Broekstraat will be preserved. Belfius is currently planning for the future of this property.

The article is in Dutch


Tags: Building permit granted Leuven campus Pacheco building

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