The rooms of the former Museum of Modern Art were in need of thorough renovation in terms of their technical equipment, as well as in relation to structure and lighting. An excellent cooperative relationship with the Belgian Buildings Agency (Regie der Gebouwen/Régie des Bâtiments) and the strong commitment of all involved made it possible to provide a building that not only meets today’s standards, but that could also be described as cutting-edge in a number of respects.

Technical equipment

New standards meant that the fire detection system was no longer up to scratch. Accordingly, all fire detection equipment has been modernised and improved. The existing wiring posed a considerable fire danger. In order to avoid all risks, the installation of all new equipment has been accompanied by rewiring. The management system (BMS) was outdated. The intention is that in future the BMS system will, in addition to lighting, also monitor energy use and manage other technical equipment. The HVAC (climate control) system was 30 years old. Its settings were entirely locally controlled; at the time of its design, moreover, little attention was paid to energy efficiency. After consultation, it was decided to fully renew the existing equipment and to install a heat exchanger in order to strip the outward flow of air of its energy and transfer this energy to the inward flow of air. In addition, the entire installation has been linked to the BMS. This will ensure that the BMS can be operated more efficiently and will also have an effect on energy costs. All elements are ready if installation of complete wifi coverage is required at a later stage in the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum.


The existing epoxy-mortar floor was quite soiled and it would have been impossible to clean it thoroughly. Together with the Buildings Agency the decision was taken to install a PU floor. A number of adaptations have been made to the existing architecture in order to make it more appropriate to the future Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum – with, of course, respect for the basic architecture. The light well has been closed off. This was necessary because a thermal bridge (cold bridge) regularly caused condensation, which in turn led to water infiltration into the rooms. The necessary painting work has been carried out.


The existing situation meant that replacing the working lights required the complete opening of the false ceiling. For budgetary reasons and in order to reduce the workload, it was decided to install a complete rail system under the false ceiling for both exhibition and working lightings. This system can also provide electricity for other equipment, such as projectors, sound installations, etc. Together with these adaptations, it was decided to change to more energy-efficient lighting in the form of LED lighting. This presents considerable advantages over halogen lighting. On the one hand, LED lamps have a longer life span; on the other hand, unlike with halogen lamps, the lighting quality of LEDs does not decrease when dimmed. There are also major energy savings compared to halogen lighting. The LED spotlights installed use one third less energy than the most efficient halogens.