1930 saw the creation of the National Broadcasting Institute (INR) in Belgium. In response to the technical challenges which this new form of communication presented, the architect concerned—Joseph Diongre—produced a cutting-edge design. For what was one of the very first broadcasting houses in Europe—essentially a ‘sound factory’—Diongre chose the Streamline Moderne style and collaborated with specialist engineers in the execution of the project. From its first day of operation, the INR broadcast continuously from 6.45 a.m. to midnight and established a reputation for excellence and an avant-garde approach. It was here, in 1953, that the first news programme to appear on Belgian television was broadcast. In 1960, the successor organizations to the INR, amongst them Radiodiffusion Télévision Belge (RTB), quit the building due to lack of space. A number of cultural institutions then occupied the site until its closure in 1994. After some deliberation, it was decided that the building should be renovated and converted into an audiovisual centre—the only one of its kind in Brussels—comprising concert halls, cinemas, offices, and shops. In 2002, the Flagey building was officially reopened by King Albert as a venue dedicated to music, cinema, and culture in the widest sense. Nowadays, the building’s occupants include, amongst others, the broadcaster BRUZZ. Studio 4 continues to ensure the institution’s international renown and is home to the Brussels Philharmonic—a favourite to work with amongst top-ranking jazz and classical musicians. In 2005, Martin Scorsese even recorded the music for his film The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio there, while the original soundtrack for The Artist was recorded in the studio in 2011, winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Lovers of culture from every age-group flock to this Modernist building. They come to hear music – be it jazz, classical, contemporary, or world – to discover films, learn about video projects, or take part in conferences where they can meet writers and fellow citizens who take an active interest in the arts. Every year, Flagey plays host to top-ranking artists, from Belgium and elsewhere, and, equally, to upcoming local talent. Thanks to its exceptional acoustics, its diverse programme of events, and its own series of festivals – the Flagey Piano Days, the Brussels Jazz Festival, and the Arvo Pärt Day, for example – the venue now ranks among the foremost cultural institutions in Belgium and further afield. (Listed 28/04/1994)
Guided tours (French and Dutch) available all day, Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 17h00 (last group at 17h15). In cooperation with Arkadia and Korei.
Accessible with assistance