On the proposal of Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region gave the go-ahead at the end of September for the establishment of the future Brussels Autism Centre on the Usquare.brussels site in Ixelles. He also entrusted the management of the project to the Urban Development Corporation (SAU), which has been coordinating the conversion of the former Fritz Toussaint barracks for several years now and which therefore has the task of making the Autism Centre a reality within the new Usquare.brussels district. The SAU is therefore launching a call for expressions of interest, through the Chief Architect (BMA), for an ‘Architectural design and structural diagnosis’ assignment.
The Autism Centre will be a place of sharing and services, a resource centre for all those affected by autism spectrum disorders in the Brussels-Capital Region. It will be housed in a group of existing historic buildings.
The assignment being launched by the SAU follows a feasibility study that identified the needs of actors in the sector and defined some basic principles for the structuring of the project. The purpose of the architectural design assignment is to make a general concept work in a specific, unique location. The main objectives are: to define the concept of the Autism Centre in spatial terms, taking account of the proposed site; to establish the broad outlines of the architectural design in functional terms; to refine the design and the specific expectations in terms of equipment and layout with a committee of users or user representatives; to perform a structural diagnosis of the buildings concerned; and to establish an estimated budget for the renovation work relating to the project.
The SAU is looking for a multidisciplinary team to carry out this assignment. Candidates must have the following competencies: architectural design; stability engineering; estimating the cost of work. They will also have to provide evidence of relevant experience and/or a specific approach in the following areas: disability awareness and/or the design of reception areas for specific groups; heritage-type renovation; engagement with users.
Details of the call for expressions of interest can be found on the BMA website.
The selection criteria will be: the suitability of the team’s composition for the performance of the assignment (15%); the methodology and coherence of the team’s deployment and of the distribution of fees in relation to the assignment and the proposed methodology (55%); the price (30%).
Following this phase, three to five teams will be invited to submit a bid.