Eugène Flagey Square as it appears today
|Location||Ixelles, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium|
With ten streets converging at Flagey Square, it is one of the best connected crossroads in the city, directly adjacent to the neighbouring Ixelles Ponds (the street separating them now will disappear). A large flood control reservoir (necessary due to the low-lying terrain and high groundwater level) and a parking lot have been built under the square.
The area comprising the square was covered by the Ixelles Ponds until 1860 when one of the original ponds was drained as part of new urban design. Originally known as the Place Sainte-Croix/Heilig Kruisplein, it was renamed in honour of Eugène Flagey, mayor of Ixelles from 1935 to 1953.
Beginning in 2002, the square was extensively renovated. Prior to the renovation, it had been primarily used as an open air parking lot. The project was infamously delayed many times and all activity had to grind to a halt for sometimes months on end. The plans were remade in 2004, partially on the demand of the local residents' association. Among their demands were the complete elimination of above ground parking in the square. The original plan was not deemed ambitious enough and a new competition was launched for international bids from different architects. Latz&Partner and D + A International eventually won the contract.
Official celebrations for the reopening of Flagey Square took place in July 2008. Events held included fireworks, concerts, guided visits and film screenings. However, at the time of the official opening, and still as of 2010, the subterranean parking which was built below the square was not opened. The risk of flooding as well as other structural problems forced authorities to keep the facility closed.
Flagey Square is famous for:
- the Art Deco building occupying its entire southern side, the former Maison de la Radio, renamed to Flagey in 2002. It now hosts a cultural center. Its Studio 4 is one of the concert halls with the best acoustics worldwide, home to the Brussels Philharmonic. It is also used as a recording studio; the award-winning soundtrack of movie The Artist was recorded here.
- the building on the opposite side of the square to Flagey, which houses the first supermarket ever opened in Belgium (on 18 December 1957), a Delhaize.
- the Frit Flagey stand (fritkot), serving chips cooked the traditional Belgian way, among the best in Brussels.
- "Dossier:Le renouveau de Flagey" (in French). La Tribune de Bruxelles.
- "La Place Flagey libérée le 5 juillet" (in French). Le Soir. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Festival d'ouverture du 5 au 12 juillet" (in French). La Libre Belgique. 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Flagey: un parking qui fuit de partout" (in French). RTBF. 2010-02-10. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- "Flagey Flies Again After Audio Treatment". Lighting&Sound International. January 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Newsletter 19 - December 2007". Brussels-Europe Liaison Office. December 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- "Brussels, Belgium: in search of the perfect frite". The Telegraph. September 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-10.