The procedure was launched mid-2019 and proceeded with two candidates: Benoît Moritz en Kristiaan Borret. The latter was selected for the next stage of negotiations, but by judgment of 12 March 2020, the Council of State decided to suspend the decision to open the negotiations with Kristiaan Borret.
Following this judgment, the Government has inquired with the 2 candidates about their further intentions. Benoît Moritz indicated that he wanted to prioritise Brussels and the importance of the function of Bouwmeester/Maître Architecte (Chief Architect). For more than 20 years, this has been the core of his work as urban designer, architect and academician. He has therefore declared that he withdraws his offer and that he does not want to participate anymore in the call for bMa candidates.
The Government would like to thank Benoît Moritz for his offer and his valuable suggestions:
- to, among others, pay more attention to the government's role and the office of architect in private competitions.
- to develop clear quality frameworks within the Region, in particular for public spaces and housing production.
The Government has made the decision to designate Kristiaan Borret as Bouwmeester/Maître Architecte for the period 2020-2024.
Based on the elements of his offer, the Government has agreed with Kristiaan Borret to focus on the following aspects, in accordance with the coalition agreement:
- First of all, the Bouwmeester/Maître Architecte will continue to fulfil the role of independent quality controller, as anchored in the CoBAT. Together with the Secretary of State and urban.brussels, Kristiaan Borret will continue working ambitiously to achieve this.
- A permanent contribution must be made to ensure a qualitative, accessible housing production that makes Brussels an open and inclusive city, full of solidarity.
- In this respect, the Bouwmeester/Maître Architecte has to pay particular attention to countering the effects of climate change and to make a people-friendly city by focusing on greening buildings and public spaces and on circular construction.
- The mission of the bMa will be even more integrated in the urban development ecosystem. This will be achieved by further developing a transparency in communication, participation and a more permanent evaluation culture, in exchange with all stakeholders.
Under the past mandate of Kristiaan Borret, private competitions have developed their potential. The time has come to look back. An external evaluation of the private competitions will therefore be launched. This evaluation must take into account the interests of society, the functioning of the public sector, the development model of private projects and the status of designers.
Finally, the Government has also decided to elaborate a new procedure for the designation of the Bouwmeester/Maître Architecte in the future.
"The new impulse for the urban future of Brussels is happening now. Today's decision ensures that we look to the future with serenity and ambition. The frame of reference has been established and we are going to work quickly on its realisation. Congratulations to Kristiaan Borret on his reappointment and I would like to thank Benoît Moritz for his excellent participation," says State Secretary of Urbanism Pascal Smet.
« Cette désignation s’inscrit dans la volonté du Gouvernement de pérenniser la fonction de maître architecte, créée il y a maintenant 10 ans. Le Maître-Architecte doit stimuler la qualité architecturale à Bruxelles, en être le garant, le porteur, le meilleur allié. C’est une fonction importante pour Bruxelles ! » déclare le Ministre-Président Vervoort.