International architectural practice Art & Build’s proposal for the Brussels Nord/Midi junction transforms a transport hub into a friendly, green urban link.
The Midi and Nord train stations are to be connected by a rapid and completely automatic transport link with high passenger capacity, all set into a green pedestrian promenade.
The uncovered stretches of track running from Midi to Chapelle train stations and then from the Pacheco Boulevard exit to the Nord station are redesigned as landscaped swathes accessible to the public. Nature is re-introduced to the city centre along the same lines as the highly successful Promenade Plantée in Paris and the High Line in New York City.
The absence of trains would allow the stations and tunnels to be renovated as quality cultural spaces, freed from the noise and pollution.
Mainline train routes are reorganized so as to bypass the city centre and connect to suburban rail networks. A new international terminal is to be built at the western Gare de l’Ouest station with direct connections to the underground railway and city centre. The Luxembourg station is linked to the Schumann station and the European quarter, becoming the new hub serving Switzerland and Luxembourg. The principal stations (Nord and Midi) would become termini, as is common in most European cities.
This ambitious project, which could be completed in 2040, encompasses a number of fields from town planning, landscaping and transportation to tourism and culture, and would be a major vector in the renewal of Brussels’ city centre.