Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art

Wiels Centre


State Belgium
Regional (NUTS III) hierarchical level Brussel Capital
District level (LAU1) District of Brussels
Municipality (LAU2) Anderlecht
Connection to traffic network In the city centre

Main factors of successful redevelopment process

  • general localization (next to capital of Belgium)
  • specific localization (inner city)
  • attractiveness of the site and objects (unique atmosphere of the city centre)
  • availability of financial incentives (national funds and also private sources)
  • local involvement and stakeholders´ collaboration (activities of politicians, community, public, NGO´s)
  • transport links (transport hub – intersection of tram)

Brief description of site and current use

The project ‘Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art’ focused on supporting the operational aspects of the centre as well as renovation work which saw a former brewery transformed into an exhibition centre complete with reception area, bookshop and cafeteria. Three original vats were also restored under the project, lending a unique atmosphere to the centre. The Wiels Contemporary Arts Centre provides a unique setting for contemporary art enthusiasts. It is designed as an institution rather than a traditional fine arts museum or gallery. Every year sees a series of exhibitions of local and international artists, providing an opportunity for artists and visitors to share their passion for art. The resident artist programme and educational facilities give both budding and more established artists a place to develop their skills and display their work. Wiels was created with that obligation in mind. Begun in 2007 and piloted by Mr. Snauwaert, it gradually converted the old Wielemans Ceuppens family brewery, one of Brussels’s finest and last-standing Modernist buildings by the architect Adrien Blomme, into an exhibition space with artist residencies. Its myriad rooms and corridors have been filled with challenging shows by Francis Alÿs, David Claerbout and, currently, Sven Augustijnen. It shares exhibitions with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

The centre is set up as a non-profit organisation. Whilst focused mainly on the visual arts, it also welcomes other disciplines. It covers the entire spectrum of art, including presentation, production and education, all in one location. Several large exhibitions take place every year to illustrate evolutions in contemporary art. The focus is on informing, analysing and exchanging, with the overarching goal being to contribute to the promotion and understanding of contemporary art. It hosts an international programme for resident artists as well as education and training workshops, projects and seminars open to all – young people, senior citizens and school groups

Original use – basic description

Original use Industrial (Brewery)
Area 0.08 ha
Type of site Transportation site

Current state – basic description

Current use Museum of Modern Art
% of built-up area Less than 100%
State of Environment City pollution is in standard level of EU
New use from 2007
Total costs 1 100 000 €
Owner of site City of Brussels

Contact to stakeholders

Owner of site City of Brussels
Municipal secretary
Luc Symoens
E-mail: cabinet.secretaire@brucity.be
Local public administration Mayor of Brussels
Freddy Thielemans
Investors participating at redevelopment Museum itself is private non-profit organization