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From Zaventem to Brussels on Bus 12

October 28, 2013

Frequent travellers to Brussels appreciate the bus service that takes you from Zaventem Airport directly to Schumann and Place Luxembourg, in the heart of the European quarter. It is the cheapest way to get there and thanks to a smart route rather quick even at peak hours.  I find this route also quite interesting from an architectural/urban fabric point of view and last time I took some pictures with my phone.

 The pictures are the kind of random streetviews I like to make when arriving or living a city. I still have many to publish, if I just had the time to do it. I think I love them because they are random like the environments they reflect and sometimes random+random=composition.

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I agree, the beginning is not so spectacular, especially if you seat on the driver’s side of the bus and take pictures with 24mm equivalent camera. Just road, cars, industrial or office buildings in the distance.
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Some buildings show more attention to the way they relate to the highway and sunrise. Here is a post-modern office complex which in a way says  good morning or good-bye to the people passing by.

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Other buildings show their commercial destination in a direct way.
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Here is the beginning of an urban fabric: the highway flows into the network of roads of the city, which accommodate tramways, bike lanes, walkways, tram and bus stations, public lights etc.

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This building is another postmodern, outdated office block, nevertheless it has the right scale and architectural language at this place.  It reacts to the randomness of the environment with an abstract and funny pattern that brings it exactly to the point.

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Brussels is one of most congested cities in Europe in terms of private traffic. A legislation that provide subsidies to single family houses has caused the so-called “brusselisation” and produced a heavy sprawl all around the city.  Here you can see the cars standing in line to enter the city, meanwhile nobody is driving in the opposite direction.  Only few mothers with children and kids wait for the bus.

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Social housing at the edge of the city. As a matter of fact you find these blocks often also in the city center, scattered around.

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Also in this car dominated landscape you can recognise the city is taking good care of green areas.

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Large buildings scattered around do no harm to this random landscape. They relate to the high-speed of people passing by. Trees have to grow and urban life has to reach out here yet.
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This nicely designed underpass marks the entrance to the historic city.

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Art nouveau houses are the architectural landmark of Brussels. Viktor Horta is only one of the many great architects who has designed these architectural artworks in various parts of town.   These houses were very well designed and built and today the most requested business and residential  locations. #Brussels_Oct2013_ (37)

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Empty sharing bikes stands. Does it mean the system is very successful and everybody use this, or is there an insufficient re-distribution system to balance the main flows?

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When in the middle of the historic city you see again anonymous office blocks, it means you are arriving at the European quarter, the main concentration of European institutions, member States representations etc. .

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The Berlaymont in its new skin reminds the recent Renzo Piano office buildings. The original version had some more flair, but this is not bad as well.  #Brussels_Oct2013_ (46)

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Some existing buildings should be integrated in the real estate development of the European quarter, yet they are not the priority.

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