The Berlaymont building is the headquarters of the European Commission. This is the place where the great projects of the old continent are developed. The European district is a must-see visit to feel the most vibrant side of Brussels.
THE BERLAYMONT BUILDING
During the 60s the Berlaymont was built to be the headquarters of the European Commission. The construction took a few years and it was not until 1969 that the building was finished. It is located at the end of the Rue de la Loi, in the centre of the European district.
The building has a surface area of 240,000 square metres, 3,000 civil servants, meeting rooms, television studios, restaurants and conference facilities.
The building, designed by Lucien de Vestel, consists of 17 storeys, with a star-shaped tower with four wings.
THE BERLAYMONT REFURBISHMENT
In 1991, the structure of the building was completely refurbished,the main reason being that the building hadasbestos, a toxic substance. The renovation took longer than a decade and it was not until 2004 thatthe building was reopened. The same as it happens nowadays with the Schuman metro station,the works wereslow and controversial. Theremodelling was carried out by architects Pierre Lallemand, Steven Beckers and Van Campenhout Willfried.
THE BARROSO COMMISSION
Since 2005, members of the Barroso Commission are in the Berlaymont building. The president's office is located in the last building office. The Barroso Commission II will conclude its five-year mandate in 2014. It currently consists of 27 commissioners.
A STRANGE NAME
The building was constructed where the convent of the Dames du Berlaymontwas. It was a plot with a surface area of 2 hectares. In 1960 the Belgian state bought this plot to build the European Commission.
VISITING THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Visits are reserved for groups of at least 15 people. You must book in advance.
Discover Brussels, FREE TOUR BRUSSELS
Rue de la Loi 200, 1000 Brussels.
HOW TO GET TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
- Metro: Schuman lines 1 and 5.
- Bus: Line 63, stop Ambiorix.
SOME PLACES NEAR THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
- Grand Place (2.6 miles)
- The Park of Brussels (1.9 km)
- The European Parliament (1.6 km)