October 04, 2023
New VRT building takes shape: the first stone has been laid
Under the approving eye of VRT CEO Frederik Delaplace and chairman of the Board of Directors Frieda Brepoels, the first stone for the new VRT building was laid. Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, Brussels State Secretary Ans Persoons and Flemish Minister of Media Benjamin Dalle also attended the event. The first stone not only symbolises the start of construction, but also a future that fully focuses on innovation in media production and technology. VRT is scheduled to move in 2026.
First building block of new VRT building
Preparatory works on the new VRT building started in November 2022, with the demolition of the parking and the excavation of the construction pit. Meanwhile, the final concrete pouring of the foundation slab is in sight and VRT was able to officially lay the first stone, accompanied with a symbolical imprint of hands in the concrete.
More than 300 workers on-site
Currently, the site is at its lowest point, five floors below ground in a 10,000-square-metre construction pit. "Now there are about 100 workers at work, but in the final phase we expect more than 300 workers on site at the same time. This requires good coordination, both on-site and off-site," says Jelle Machiels, project manager of the contractor. The construction of the new building is not an everyday project and is very ambitious. The installation of the steel structure, which characterises the upper part of the new building, is enormously complex, and the large TV studios in the building also present challenges. In addition, in terms of sustainability, ambitions are high with green energy coming from geothermal heat pumps and solar panels; as well as attention to water management. To realise the new VRT building, VRT is collaborating with three Flemish construction companies: Willemen, Jan De Nul and EEG.
Building a new media company
With the new building, VRT wants to respond to the latest technological evolutions in the media landscape. "In addition to the large radio and TV studios, we want to be able to create media across the entire building in a flexible way," stresses Sabine Belis, programme manager for the new building. "We are working on an open house that fully supports the media makers working at VRT. It is a next step in the technological innovation we are fully committed to."
VRT is already thinking about which technologies it wants to use in the new building to continue making media in the future. That is why the broadcaster is already testing out new innovative technologies, such as with the multifunctional studio. This way, the public broadcaster wants to remain innovative and relevant in a constantly changing media landscape.