The Goujons building suffers the stigma commonly attached to tower blocks. However, its distinctive shape could open the way for a radical change of image. Contrary to other tower blocks, the design of the Goujons building was not created in response to a landscape but rather to the sudden covering of the old bed of the Senne river.
The Goujons building in reality forms part of a radical renovation plan for the old working-class and industrial neighbourhood of Cureghem. The local land use plan (PPAS) for Goujons, between 1968 and 1971, aimed to connect the developments around Place Albert to the new construction along the canal, which was set to become a waterfront development over time.
Although the Goujons project formed part of a designated modernist ensemble, it ended up becoming an isolated building. With its 18 floors, this tower block has created a rupture in the urban fabric since the transformation mission was aborted.
The renovation of the building envelope, expedited by the existing balconies falling prematurely into disrepair, is an opportunity to create spacious rows of terraces. They will symbolically mark the presence of Brussels’ matrix river in the skyline of the Senne valley. The interweaving of the prefab concrete structure folds away as it approaches the foot of the block, creating an anchor for the building in its neighbourhood and producing creative and historic meaning.