Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman
Sveriges ständiga EU-representation i Bryssel
Sweden’s Permanent Representation to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium
In 2007 and 2008, the National Property Board Sweden conducted an extensive refurbishment of the premises at Square de Meeûs 30 in Brussels. The purpose was to make the property more modern and efficient ahead of Sweden's presidency of the EU in 2009.
Newly opened in summer 2008
The façade was also given a facelift as part of the refurbishment. It was sandblasted clean and given new lighting that, in the evening, emphasises the central position of the building on Square de Meeûs. Before the refurbishment, the building largely featured deep offices off long corridors which were also used for storage. The new design instead created smaller offices with glass walls for greater transparency. The building now houses 120 people, compared with 80 before.
Art and design take pride of place
Inside, a cool colour palette is used on the sunlit side with warm colours on the north-facing side – an approach used innumerable times before, including by artist Carl Larsson. In the offices, interior architects Karin Johannesson Forsblad of Sweden's Foreign Ministry and Eva Herdin, consultant, chose to link the existing storage furniture and the new door sections with interior details. Feature walls, the park and art give a splash of colour against the otherwise muted palette. All the floors used to be very different, but there is now a unity of design. The renovated white chairs with Burgundy leather seats in the restaurant give an extra lift to the newly refitted premises.
One stipulation during the refurbishment was that the large quantity of art in the building would play a prominent role in the new scheme. In addition, two new works of art were acquired for the reopening. The Sweden Room features Mats Bergqvist's 19 modern icons painted on pear wood, while David Taylor, who produces functional art, has adorned the entrance with artistic light fittings.
Government offices in miniature
The property was purchased by the Swedish State in 1991 and enjoys a central location in Brussels overlooking the park at Square de Meeûs, which is named after a notable Belgian family. The chancery principally comprises offices, a garage and reception and meeting rooms.The property is close to all the key transport links, including the inner ring road, bus routes and the metro. The Gare de Luxembourg train station is also just a five-minute walk away.
Square de Meeûs 30