New VRT building takes shape: the official foundation stone has been laid

The official foundation stone of the new office for the Belgian broadcaster VRT in Brussels has been laid. This happened Wednesday morning under the approving eye of VRT CEO Frederik Delaplace and chairman of the Board of Directors Frieda Brepoels. Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort and Flemish Minister for Media Benjamin Dalle also attended the laying of the foundation stone. The construction of the new building is an important step for VRT, which is fully committed to innovation in media production and technology. The works, carried out by VRT Morgen, a temporary cooperation between Jan De Nul, Willemen and EEG, are progressing well. VRT is scheduled to move in their new House in 2026.

First building block of new VRT building

Preparatory works on the new VRT building started in November last year, with the demolition of the parking building and the excavation of the building pit. Meanwhile, the final concrete pour of the foundation slab is in sight and VRT was able to officially lay the foundation stone this morning. CEO Frederik Delaplace and chairman of the Board of Directors Frieda Brepoels did so symbolically with an imprint of their hands in the concrete, as did Flemish Minister-President Jambon, Brussels Minister-President Vervoort and Flemish Minister for Media Benjamin Dalle. 

Benjamin Dalle: "With this sustainable media building, VRT can respond more to new technologies and recent evolutions in the sector. Moreover, it will be a pleasant and inspiring workplace for staff that encourages cooperation. This impressive project is also an important step in the development of Brussels as a media hub."

Rudi Vervoort: "We are creating a new Media Park adapted to the very latest media technologies. We are creating a media hub with an audiovisual arts campus, along with space for student accommodation and housing. More than 10 ha of the site will be preserved for open and green space. The Reyers site will be unique in Belgium and will become an attraction for national and international talent. The presence of VRT will only strengthen this image."

Frieda Brepoels, chairman of the Board of Directors, is also proud and looking forward to the new building: "With the new VRT house, we are building the future of public broadcasting." And that house also provides space for creative talent: "As part of the Flemish Art in Commission project, two works of art will also be an integral part of VRT's new building. With the selection committee, we chose the creations of American artist Matt Mullican and Belgian Sophie Nys. Both are creations that immediately appeal and stay with you.”

More than 300 workers on site

Currently, the site sits at its lowest point, five floors below ground in a 10,000-square-metre construction pit. "Now there are about 100 people working, but in the finishing phase, we expect more than 300 workers on site at the same time. That requires good coordination and coordination, both on site and off site," says Jelle Machiels, project manager of contractor VRT Morgen. 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 the necessary challenges. For this, VRT is working with three Flemish construction companies: Jan De Nul, Willemen and EEG.

Moving in 2026

Finishing the structural work on the underground floors will take until the end of this year. After New Year, works on the above-ground floors will start and the new building will thus become visible. VRT is pleased with the steps being taken. "The works are progressing well and everything is on schedule. We see that every day from our current workplace. Timing and budget remain nicely within the agreements. VRT is sticking to the car financing of our new house," says CEO Frederik Delaplace. The move to the building is scheduled for autumn 2026.

Breaking silos and working together

The current building on Reyerslaan will be exchanged for a horizontal building where collaboration is key. Each floor in the new VRT building will have its own identity. For instance, there will be an action floor, dedicated to making news with VRT NWS, of course, but also Sporza and Radio 1. The production floor will house the new internal production house VRT Studios, the technical crew and the various radio brands. Support services and management will be found on the top floor.

Karen Donders, Talent & Organisation director: "In this way, VRT wants to break down the silos between the different brands and stimulate cooperation. Each place should become an inspiring working environment that encourages collaboration and co-creation."

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 New Building. "We are working on an open house that fully supports the media makers within 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 in the multifunctional studio. In this way, the public broadcaster wants to remain innovative and relevant in a constantly changing media landscape.


Picture: Johan Willemen, Dirk De Nul, Sabine Belis, Benjamin Dalle, Frieda Brepoels, Frederik Delaplace, Jan Jambon, Ans Persoons and Karl Neyrinck © VRT

VRT House