Triangle building

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
EEAS Headquarters
Seat of the European External Action Service 20090705.jpg
The Triangle building.
Former namesJECL
Alternative namesThe Capital building
The Axa building
General information
TypeOffice building
Architectural stylePostmodern
LocationBrussels, Belgium
Address1 Kortenberglaan / Avenue de Cortenbergh
Brussels 1040 Belgium
Coordinates50°50′33″N 4°23′8″E / 50.84250°N 4.38556°E / 50.84250; 4.38556Coordinates: 50°50′33″N 4°23′8″E / 50.84250°N 4.38556°E / 50.84250; 4.38556
Current tenantsThe EU diplomatic service (EAS) and personnel selection office (EPSO)
Completed30 June 2009
Technical details
Floor count7
Floor area60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architecture firmGenval Workshop

The seat of the European External Action Service (initially referred to as The Capital, and thereafter sometimes the Triangle building) is the office building on Schuman roundabout in the heart of the European Quarter of Brussels, Belgium, in which most of the European External Action Service (EEAS) resides. The building also houses some other EU departments. The EEAS staff moved into the building in February 2012.[1]


Previous buildings[edit]

Previously there were a number of architecturally diverse buildings on the property, collectively 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.[citation needed] AXA instead decided to built an ordinary office building.

Construction and inauguration[edit]

Triangle building under construction in 2007, as seen in the distance across the Parc du Cinquantenaire.

The main structure of the present triangular building was completed in 2009. Referred to as The Capital by Axa, the building was originally 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 insisted it will look "magnificent".[2][3][2]

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 were 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. [3]


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.[3] 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.[4]

The building also hosts the Foreign Policy Instruments Service, a minor department of the Commission.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EU foreign service moves into new home". EUobserver.
  2. ^ a b, La (October 31, 2008). "L'Europe toise "The Capital"".
  3. ^ a b c Rettman, Andrew (24 August 2010). "Ashton set to take new office in EU nerve centre". EU Observer.
  4. ^ Rettman, Andrew (27 October 2010) Ashton chooses €12-million-a-year EU headquarters, EU Observer
  5. ^

External links[edit]