|Alternative names||The Capital building
The Axa building
|Address||1 Kortenberglaan / Avenue de Cortenbergh
Brussels 1040 Belgium
|Current tenants||The EU diplomatic service (EAS) and personnel selection office (EPSO)|
|Completed||30 June 2009|
|Floor area||60,000 m²|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Genval Workshop
The EEAS Headquarters (initially also known as The Capital, and sometimes referred to as the Triangle building) is the building in which most of the European External Action Service (EEAS) resides. The office building is on Schuman roundabout in the heart of the European Quarter of Brussels, Belgium. The building also houses some other EU departments. The EEAS staff moved into the building in February 2012.
|This article is outdated. (February 2012)|
The main structure was completed in 2009. It replaced an architecturally diverse complex of buildings that was previously located there, named JECL after the initials of the three surrounding streets: Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée, Avenue de Cortenbergh and Rue de la Loi. When it was decided that the old JECL complex was to be demolished, the European Commission signalled its interest in purchasing the property in order to build a new EU conference centre on the site. The negotiations between AXA and the Commission were tough and lasted for more than five years, but eventually failed in 2006 due to disagreement over the price. Axa instead built the current building, which they called the The Capital, which is divided into distinct office blocks.
Axa intended to split the complex between the Commission, national embassies and private companies. However the Commission refused to share the building. Negotiations became drawn out but as of August 2010 the Commission and Axa are close to a signature for the whole building. In July 2010 European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) entered one of the six parts of the buildings, occupying 9000m² out of a total of 54000m². It was later joined by the Foreign Policy Instruments Service (FPI) and the EEAS, whose staff had previously been dispersed across six buildings. 
The triangular building is divided into 6 technically independent sections, named after the capitals of the six founding member states of the European Union (EU): Rome, Paris, Berlin, Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Brussels, respectively. In the centre is a large circular courtyard which is heavily planted and, in 30 years from its construction, the architect insists will look "magnificent".
The building will take three months to bring up to EEAS' needs, including security arrangements. As of August 2010 it hasn't been decided whether the High Representative's office will overlook Schuman roundabout, seeing all the comings and goings between the Commission and Council, or if it will overlook Parc du Cinquantenaire. Unlike the Commission and Council buildings, there is no helipad or private tunnel to enter the car park. However Axa may reinstate a pedestrian tunnel to the Berlaymont so that the High Representative may leave without being seen. Rather than a helipad, the roof is covered in solar panels, as the building is outfitted to the latest environmental credentials.
The street side retail units on the ground floor will have totally separate heating and electrical systems for tax and security purposes.
The Commission is expected to lease 50,000 m² of the 60,000 m² block for at least 15 years at a cost of around €10 million a year. The new EEAS will fill most of the space, with some room left for assorted Commission departments. EPSO has in a separate contract already leased a 10,000 m² chunk from July 2010. The building is owned by the French insurance company AXA. Further space will be let to street-side shops. The EEAS lease will be €12 million-a-year, with the first year free (before moving in, the staff of the newly formed EEAS were housed in six separate buildings at a cost of €25 million a year. The EEAS will be inaugurated on 1 December 2010 in the lobby of the building.
The building also hosts the Foreign Policy Instruments Service, a minor department of the Commission.
- Rettman, Andrew (24 August 2010). "Ashton set to take new office in EU nerve centre". EU Observer.
- Rettman, Andrew (27 October 2010) Ashton chooses €12-million-a-year EU headquarters, EU Observer
- Ashton set to take new office in EU nerve centre - EUobserver
- listings-belgium.eur.cushwake.com, Cushman & Wakefield
- L'Europe toise "The Capital" -La Libre Belgique (French)