Renovation of the Brussels conservatory of music


The Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel and Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles are two Belgian Schools of Art located in a diverse complex of buildings that are all in need of renovation and do not provide sufficient space for the activities of the two music schools. The project combines the restoration of a beautiful piece of architectural heritage in the heart of Brussels with the construction and renovation of the necessary infrastructure for the two conservatories, a prestigious music library and 3 concert halls. Quite an achievement!

Statut du projet

En cours d'étude


Ville de Bruxelles

Bureau(x) d'études
Type de projet

Patrimoine / Culture

Contrôle qualité
En collaboration avec

KCB, CrB, nv Conservatoire SA, Conservamus

Coordinateur sécurité
En collaboration avec KCB, CrB, nv Conservatoire SA, Conservamus

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On the programme:

  • Restoring the historic buildings
  • Restoring the 1880's organ
  • Renovating the electrical installations, heating and ventilation
  • Building an extension including a chamber music hall and a rehearsal hall for a symphonic orchestra 
  • Fitting out of high-quality classrooms with extra attention to acoustics 
  • Creation of a new library with storage depot, offices and artists' lounges
  • Landscaping of inner gardens
  • Improving the accessibility and circulation in the building

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Le projet en détail


The conservatory was built in the 19th century to the design of architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar. It then consisted of a school building on rue de la Régence, and two adjoining houses for the director and secretary. The magnificent concert hall houses one of Belgium's most valuable organs, an instrument by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, the greatest organ builder of all time.  
The entire ensemble will be restored and adapted to contemporary standards in terms of acoustics, accessibility, safety and comfort. All interventions are done with the greatest respect for the architectural heritage.

The monumental concert hall and foyers will be restored to their original glory. The historical interiors on the ground floor will be restored and furnished for the library and the knowledge centre. A new depot space will be created underground for the extensive collection of historical scores and artefacts.
The five town houses in Wolstraat, with which the conservatory was extended over the years, will also be restored and equipped for the administrative services, musicians' lodges and a guesthouse.



To meet the demand for additional music classes, concert halls and a high-quality air-conditioned preservation depot, an extension is necessary. The new building will replace the current extension with the library, and will be respectfully integrated into the whole.
The two new concert halls will be equipped with the necessary infrastructure to optimise acoustics. The chamber music hall will have a fixed seating arrangement with bleachers and can accommodate 150 spectators. The rehearsal hall is strategically embedded between the historic concert hall and the artists' lodges. The acoustics there are adaptable thanks to sliding wooden paneling and sound-absorbing curtains.
To complement the classrooms and music classrooms in the Cluysenaar Building, the new building will house four double-height masterclasses and high-performance classrooms that keep heavy bass sounds such as percussion in. Atop the new building will be a publicly accessible roof terrace.


To improve the accessibility of the complex, there will be a thoroughfare: from the honorary courtyard on Regentschapstraat, visitors will be able to walk directly through the courtyard garden to the town houses on Wolstraat. There will also be a monumental staircase on this central axis, in the spirit of the original architect, connecting the historical building with the new building.

The unbuilt areas will be laid out as six gardens, oases of peace and light that increase biodiversity and allow rainwater to infiltrate into the soil. The courtyard at the entrance will be retained. The reading room of the new library will overlook a winter garden inspired by that of the 19th century. From there, a vertical garden will lead via stairs to a courtyard with cafeteria and terrace. Finally, a patio will be created next to the foyer of the historic concert hall.

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A sustainable project

This project aims to achieve a BREEAM rating of 'very good'. BREEAM, a sustainability label for the environmental performance of buildings, not only considers the sustainable use of energy and materials, but also includes transport, welfare, etc. For this project, water management, adding plants to the site and enriching the biodiversity stand out in particular.

Water management

Rainwater will no longer all disappear into the sewers. Most of the courtyard will no longer be paved over, and the intensive green roofs that will be created on the flat roofs will maximise the infiltration of rain water on site. Most of the remaining roofs will be connected to two rainwater tanks of 225 m³ and 50 m³, and will be used for toilets, plants, the fountain at the honorary courtyard and maintenance of the classrooms. 


All outdoor areas will be landscaped, creating six gardens:

  • the honorary courtyard
  • a garden for the guest musicians
  • a student garden with terrace
  • the winter garden at the library
  • a vertical garden along the stairs
  • a patio next to the foyer of the main concert hall

The winter garden is laid out around the eucalyptus tree, which is classified as a special tree. The other gardens will also provide different layers of planting: trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, and climbing plants in the vertical garden and patio.


Besides flora, there is also an eye for fauna: water trays for birds and insects, nesting boxes for birds and bats and insect hotels will be integrated around the gardens. And extra attention will be paid to the placement and choice of lighting to limit light pollution.


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Évolution du projet

The project's evolution



Durant cette phase, l’équipe de projet établit, en concertation avec les partenaires du projet, ses propriétaires et ses gestionnaires, un programme des besoins. Elle définit aussi les contraintes du site et vérifie la faisabilité technique et budgétaire du projet.

Marché d'étude

Marché d'étude

Au cours de cette phase, l’équipe de projet procède à la mise sur le marché de la mission d’études et à la désignation de l’auteur de projet qui réalisera les études nécessaires pour concevoir un projet de qualité.

Exécution de l'étude

Exécution de l'étude

Au cours de cette phase, l’auteur de projet, en concertation avec le maître d’ouvrage, mène les études préparatoires et conçoit un avant-projet, qui doit être validé par tous les partenaires.



Au cours de cette phase, l'auteur de projet rédige le dossiers de permis d'urbanisme et/ou d'environnement. Le maître d’ouvrage les introduit à la Région bruxelloise qui procède à l’instruction du permis jusqu’à sa réception.

Marché des travaux

Marché des travaux

Au cours de cette phase, l’équipe de projet procède à la mise sur le marché de la mission de travaux et à la désignation de l’entrepreneur qui exécutera les travaux.

Exécution des travaux

Exécution des travaux

Durant cette phase, le projet, validé par les partenaires, est mis en œuvre par une entreprise générale sous le contrôle du maître d’ouvrage et de l’auteur de projet qui suivent au quotidien le chantier.



Au cours de cette phase, le maître d’ouvrage approuve la clôture du chantier à l’entrepreneur, avec ou sans remarques. L’entrepreneur procède aux dernières interventions et le projet est remis à ses gestionnaires et propriétaires. Le maître d’ouvrage clôture le dossier avec les décomptes budgétaires finaux.

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