General information

  • Location address
    Markiesstraat 1 Brussel
  • Location country
  • Year of construction
  • Name of the client/building owner
    Group AG
  • Function of building
    Office buildings & congress centres
  • Degree of enclosure
    Fully enclosed structure
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers


The Markies Building is a high standard office building built in 1989 according to the design of L’Atelier d’Architecture de Genval. The inner court is conceived as an open-air theatre and consists of a number of rows of seats for the spectators and a gallery around the scene. The space was intended for instance to shelter cultural events from the different ethnic groups in Belgium.
The form is determined by 5 high points, suspended by cables, and boundary points, which follow the shape of the inner court at the level of the plate above the first floor. These 15 points are hold in position by outward horizontal cables and vertical cables anchored in the surrounding building.The form of the membrane roof is characterised by its anti-clastic curvature (one of the two principle directions has a positive and the other a negative curvature). The seams of the cutting patterns accentuate the shape, like in a leaf the veins indicate the structure.

Description of the environmental conditions

The light and translucent roof in the inner court was intended to enrich and enlighten the classical-serious surrounding office buildings by creating a space where theatre and music can provide a lively atmosphere. To ensure that such activities can be planned independently from the weather conditions a canopy was foreseen. For economic reasons a tent roof was preferred above a glass canopy. Since the PTFE-coated glass fabric is dirt-repellent the roof will normally remain clean.The boundary garland cable is attached at 4m from the façades, clearly marking the separation between the canopy and the building. In this way the membrane does still allow daylight to penetrate through the windows.

General comments, links

Total cost: 260000 EURO

Deutsche Bauzeitung /1993

Material of the cover

  • Cable-net/Fabric/Hybrid/Foil
  • Material Fabric/Foil
  • Material coating
  • Weight (g/m2)

Main dimensions and form

  • Covered surface (m2)
  • Total length (m)
  • Total width (m)

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure
  • Convertible or mobile
  • Design lifespan in years