Mather & Co will work alongside architects Robbrecht en Daem and Baneton Garrino to convert the Palais de la Bourse, the old Brussels Stock Exchange, into an exciting visitor attraction on Belgian beer.
The exhibition will occupy two entire floors overlooking the great hall and includes numerous spaces for visitors to learn about and experience more than 1,000 different Belgian beers that are brewed across the country.
More than 350,000 visitors are expected to visit this new attraction, which will rival the Guinness Storehouse and the Heineken Experience. Unlike other attractions, the Beer Palace will include all beers brewed in Belgium. It will give visitors a true experience of the unique Belgian Beer culture.
“This is the first time we have worked in this way,” said Phillipe Close, Alderman of Tourism of the City of Brussels. “Usually, we make a selection for the architect and then for the content but given the importance of building in the project, we wanted a coherent team. It is necessary to respect the listed Stock Exchange building while highlighting Belgian beer in a modern way.”
Close said he believes that the new attraction will make tourists stay longer in Brussels, which should enable the city to achieve its goal of 10 million overnight stays by 2020.
A ‘Belgian Beer Passport’ will be a key part of the exhibition, allowing visitors to build a menu of beers to try during their visit, which they can sample at the end of the visit on the panoramic rooftop bar offering spectacular views across the city.
Visitors will also be able to explore the history, the ingredients, the invention and craftmanship and the brewing process in a series of interactive galleries, before entering the lab to discover your own tastes and matching it to a complementary regional dish. It is an immersive and sensory experience for all ages.
“This is one of the biggest and most exciting projects that we’ve ever worked on and everyone at Mather & Co is really looking forward to it,” said Dan Procter, Design Director at Mather & Co. “The exhibition will be developed in harmony with the historic building and will showcase the rich history of the brewing industry and how this culture has evolved in Belgium. We aim for the exhibition to show the spirit of invention that is unique to Belgian brewers.”
The new attraction is scheduled to open late 2018. It will be jointly funded by Brussels Region, the European Fund ERDF, Beliris – City of Brussels, and the Belgian Brewers.