The renovation of the Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) building is part of a decision by the European Parliament’s administrative office concerning its medium and long-term real estate policy, as well as fitting into the Parliament’s real estate management policy in Brussels.
The goal is to provide the PHS with the necessary facilities to be able to ensure the smooth running of its political activities, which have increased substantially since the Treaty of Lisbon took effect, strengthening the Parliament’s role.
The Vice-Presidents, Quaestors, Group Chairmen, Chairmen of Committees and Delegations, along with their secretariats, will have many visits from external parties, including third countries. These meetings will require the availability of a variety of different types of spaces and services, up to and including formal, high-level meetings.
To better serve the needs of the European Parliament (EP), especially in terms of managing quality and multidisciplinary expert reports, AT Osborne joined forces with Tractebel Engineering (ATOT). The context of this project means that the advisers to the EP need to have strong skills in evaluating people, in collaboration and understanding the interlinked interests, including the institution’s need to set an example. Trustworthiness, technical expertise, communication methods and skills are the key elements to achieving success.
The assistance provided by AT Osborne to the Principal mainly related to requirements analyses, planning and related feasibility studies, the tendering strategy, cost estimates, scheduling and risk analyses.
Our approach consisted of setting up a task force that pooled resources from the client and from ATOT. Where needed, this task force drew on ATOT’s experts.
Working in a team alongside the client allowed us to build an atmosphere of trust based on respect for differences and recognition of individual qualities, allowing us to see the client’s needs at very close quarters and provide tailor-made solutions.
The Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) building holds the semi-circular debating chamber for when plenary sessions are held in Brussels, a press centre and the offices of the President of the Parliament and the senior teams. This building is very imposing and looms over the trees of the Leopold Park. With its cylindrical glass roof, its similarity to Crystal Palace and the northern entry to the Halle Bordiau in the neighbouring Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, the building has been nicknamed the Caprice des Dieux by the locals, as it is shaped like the box of the cheese of the same name.
The European Parliament’s debating chamber – the heart of European democracy
Brussels is the location for the main offices of the Members of the European Parliament. Visiting the debating chamber is an excellent way to soak up the atmosphere that reigns in the largest transnational parliament in the world, and to find out about its powers and its mission. The debating chamber can hold all 751 Members of the European Parliament. During the sessions, this debating chamber is used for the most important debates and has provided the backdrop to many historical votes. Free tours are organised for individuals and groups. Those who visit the debating chamber can also catch a glimpse of the European Parliament’s art collection, comprising 387 works of modern art from the four corners of the European Union, with the emphasis on promising young artists. The European Parliament has also accepted more than 120 donations and regularly exhibits works on loan.
The European District must become a model of urban planning, mobility and fun
The European Parliament, the European Commission and the Brussels-Capital Region are determined to improve the quality of life within and the image of the European District, by improving the public areas while respecting the environment and social diversity, with sustainable mobility and attracting tourists. Further opening up the Esplanade Solidarnosc (opposite the European Parliament) to the public, creating a Museum of European History and reorganising the Schuman roundabout are some priorities which have recently been discussed.