Visit to Brutopia

On 13 December 2022 around 13 Reeflings got the opportunity to visit Brutopia. Here’s a quick report on a couple of things we learned. Feel free to add your thoughts and impressions in the thread below!

The architects gave us a guided tour of mostly everything: the common room, the laundry room and the chill out deck on the roof of the block on the side of rue de Mérode.

We were also lucky enough to be able to visit some people’s private homes. We visited one unit of (gross) 110 m² (4 bedrooms for 3 children), one of 90 m² (2 bedrooms for 2 children) and one on the roof of 150 m².

Here’s a couple of things that we learned:

  • Square meters are referred to as “gross” (“brut” in French), which is equivalent to the outer walls, which need to be paid for. To arrive at the “net” square meters (aka “mètres carpète”) you need to divide the number by roughly 1.25.

  • The architects are wizards of compact building. They find a way to make use of every square cm, which makes that one can lively comfortably in a relatively small apartment.

  • The fact that apartments are delivered casco means that everything is possible, and no two apartments will be the same. This was very clear when we visited the first apartment, which was divided in a front part (kitchen) and a back part (salon) by the staircase. This was done so that children can have a corner to be noisy and not drive everybody in the entire apartment crazy. Through the window we could see that their neighbours had chosen the opposite approach. They had their apartment organised as a loft, with nothing in between the front and the back window, and with only a very small staircase stuck to one of the walls.

  • To prepare our “programme” we need to start thinking about what we would like our private units to look like. This is by no means definitive, but we should start thinking about the number of rooms, duplex or simplex and other things like this. This is a task that Team Building will launch shortly.

  • Estimated cost of finishings 800-1000 m² + VAT (6%) (only to be counted for the square meters net)

  • Site scouting for Brutopia: 24 sites identified as potential candidates > 11 subject to a feasibility study

Updated 05/01/2023 to add the two last bullet points


I’ve heard the word “casco” a number of times now but I still don’t know what it means :sweat_smile: