Renovation for AB, with new restaurant and rooftop terrace


The Flemish concert hall in Brussels will undergo a major renovation to its side building, adding VIP facilities and improving its multi-use salon

Veggie garden

The lengendary concert hall Ancienne Belgique (AB) is going to get a makeover, complete with a new rooftop terrace. While the main building on Anspachlaan will not be touched, the side building housing the bar, restaurant and Salon performance space is up for a complete renovation.

The popular concert hall wants to optimise the space in the building, which is accessible via Steenstraat, as well as make it accessible to wheelchair users. “The idea is to make it a more open space,” AB director Dirk De Clippeleir told Bruzz. “It will become a place that you can visit any time of day. Just somewhere to go eat or have a drink, or to attend a reading or see a film.”

The venue also plans a VIP space. And to keep up with the other Flemish-supported arts venue in the neighbourhood – Beursschouwburg – the AB will install a rooftop terrace, complete with vegetable garden. It will grow herbs and veggies here to use in the dishes at a brand new restaurant on the second floor.

While the ground-floor café will stay, it will move to the bar area just off the main performance hall. The smaller hall, AB Salon, will move from the second to the first floor. “We’ll still hold smaller concerts here,” confirmed De Clippeleir, “but the spaces will be better adapted to other activities that take place here.”

Design proposals are being accepted now, and the venue wants to begin works sometimes next year. De Clippeleir says the renovation will take about a year. While it will never close entirely for works, some areas will not be accessible during certain periods.

Photo: Filip De Smet/BELGA