Eurotopie, the selected project for the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale of 2018, will address the issues and challenges tackled by the European Union. Despite being the E.U’s principal territorial, physical and symbolic anchorage, the European Quarter in Brussels seems in no way to contribute to a collective European identity. The relationship of the European Quarter with its host city, however, is ambiguous.

According to the curators Traumnovelle and Roxane Le Grelle, Europe is the only great narrative which can effectively counter nationalism and extremism. With Eurotopie, they hope to arouse political commitment in European citizens and extend an invitation to pursue the construction of Europe as a political ideal as well as its anchorage in Brussels. They also address architects and space-makers in considering how the European democratic space can be constructed, and how it can cohabit with Brussels.

Curators  :
Co-curated by Roxane Le Grelle

Artistic director :
Sébastien Lacomblez

Spatial installation :
Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle
with Sébastien Lacomblez

Authors :
Eurocode 7 -Traumnovelle & Roxane Le Grelle with Dennis Pohl
Journey to Eurotopie - Bruce Bégout

Photography :
Philippe Braquenier

Collages :
Claire Trotignon

Political advisor:
Lucile Rossat

Graphic design :
6’56’’ (Jurgen Maelfeyt, Jonas Temmerman, Lien Van Leemput)
Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
(initiative de la Cellule architecture), en collaboration
avec Wallonie-Bruxelles International

Assistant curators:
Jordan Jacob Zekri
Nina Closson
Apolline Vrancken

Research and developpment :
Francesca Pedroni
Macha Bouteiller
Clarisse d’Hoffschmidt
Romain Deboulle
Kalliopi Dimitrakopoulou
Arthur Duval
Anne-Marie Fagoaga
Camille Gardien
Jonas Huchet
Jeanne Krings
Cassian Nandin
Mattia Passeri
Antoine Reboul
Caroline Roure
Luna Van Aubel

6'56” (Jurgen Maelfeyt), EUROTOPIE, 2018 © EUROTOPIE



EUROTOPIE, 2018 © Philippe Braquenier

Here is a sanctuary where citizens are building the new Europe. It is vast enough to gather crowds, secluded enough to embrace the lonely steps of those who seek answers. It can be explored from top to bottom, left to right and diagonally, revolving bodies, searching. The light is opalescent. Its intensity varies following the variations of the seasons. The floor is ultramarine blue. It reflects onto the walls and colours the space. It is consensual. It is a relic. The masonry walls are painted white. Eyes tend to lose their focus. It is either very hot or very cold. The pavilion reacts to the climate. The space is cross shaped. At its centre is a 5.3m diameter circle at which 27 people are seated. Scale is different here. Some doors are 1.4m high. Bodies must fold themselves in order to reach the alcoves. Vestiges of other uses can be perceived. The pavilion is made up of seven spaces, all the same, all different. Their widths vary from 3.2m to 10m. Their lengths vary from 5.8m to 17m. Their heights vary according to the ground and movement. At the centre, the radiant ceiling is 6m high. In the lateral niches, where those who prefer to ponder alone the state of the Union seek refuge, it can be reached with fingers. The ground rises, dips, and rises again. Movement recomposes a dodecaphonic ode throughout the space. There are steps. At 30cm high, they are both obstacles and resting places for tired bodies. A travel diary, brought back from Eurotopie, can be leafed through. Citizens listen to other citizens speaking of Europe’s legacy and of another Europe yet to be. This space is a pavilion, this space is a sanctuary, this space is a place. People crying or people laughing may be encountered here. Others shouting and lecturing. This space is one of those in which secrets can be whispered. Citizens are free. Here, Eurotopie is under construction. This is your pavilion. This is your Europe. Welcome to Eurotopie.

 EUROTOPIE, 2018 © Philippe Braquenier

EUROTOPIE, 2018 © Philippe Braquenier