Triangle building

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EEAS Headquarters
Brussels - EEAS building.jpg
The Triangle building.
Former names JECL
Alternative names The Capital building
The Axa building
General information
Type Office building
Architectural style Postmodern
Location Brussels, Belgium
Address 1 Kortenberglaan / Avenue de Cortenbergh
Brussels 1040 Belgium
Coordinates 50°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 tenants The EU diplomatic service (EAS) and personnel selection office (EPSO)
Completed 30 June 2009
Landlord AXA
Technical details
Floor count 7
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.[1]


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.[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]

Triangle building under construction as seen in the distance across the park.


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 insisted it will look "magnificent".[2][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. ^
  2. ^ a b
  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

External links[edit]