Project Brussels, Belgium

European Parliament

Sector: Buildings

The acoustic challenge

The buildings of the European Parliament, consisting of several different conference rooms and adjacent to a railway station, proved a real challenge for the acoustic engineers. The combination of an insulating layer to absorb the vibrations from the tracks and a new screening concept block out the noise of the rail traffic inside the building. Using three-dimensional computerized simulations and with the help of reflectors, diffusers and noise absorption panels, rooms with less effective acoustics were transformed into high-quality auditoria where the normal spoken word can be heard clearly from every corner. Close collaboration with the designers finally resulted in a wondrous harmony of acoustics and architecture.

Architecture reflecting ambition

The ‘Espace Leopold’ was one of the largest construction programmes of the past decade. It encompasses a new railway station capable of handling 25,000 commuters a day and the new European Parliament. The jewel in the crown of the complex is the Mail building, known under the code name “D3”. Its 300-metre long façade adjoins the Mail esplanade which its formal entrance opens on to.

Spotlight on security

Considerable precautions have been taken to guarantee personal safety, the protection of property and the continuity of operations. The latter requirement mainly involves ensuring the security of electrical supply.
Fire protection was catered for from the architectural design stage, providing wide open spaces onto the covering road. Accompanying measures include special provisions for evacuation and smoke confinement systems.

Project details

Project name

European Parliament


Governmental, Cultural and Religious

Contract type



Brussels, Belgium




European Union

Building Period

1990 - 2008

Total value

€ 848 million

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