Lighting up the Place Royale: tradition meets innovation

An ambitious development project is taking shape on Brussels' Place Royale. In particular, it will offer a more generous space for pedestrians and new lighting for the surrounding buildings. Existing public lighting will also be modernised using connected LEDs. A true renaissance for this emblematic site!

Place Royale, witness to a bygone era, is being transformed to better meet contemporary needs. As part of this development work, the vision is moving towards providing more space for pedestrians, thus reducing the dominance of cars. Against this backdrop of renewal, the future of this emblematic space is emerging.

Smart lighting

The luminaries on Brussels' Place Royale are much more than just lighting – they're symbols of the city's heritage. In order to preserve this historic heritage, Sibelga will be carrying out a large-scale modernisation project to gradually upgrade all existing luminaires to smart LEDs.

Towards a more sustainable city

Thanks to the use of LED lights, not only will Place Royale shine brightly, it will also do so more economically and sustainably.

This initiative is fully in line with Sibelga's strategy to modernise all public lighting in Brussels by 2030. The aim is clear: to replace all lights in Brussels with connected LEDs.

A historical legacy

Brussels boasts more than 3,000 stylish luminaires, not only on Place Royale, but also on the Grand-Place and many of the neighbouring streets in the centre of the city.

Together, these luminaires help maintain the visual harmony and historic atmosphere that characterise these unique locations. It is therefore essential to preserve the authenticity of this lighting.

When old meets new

The main objective of this work is to "retrofit" the luminaires. In other words, the outer shell is retained, while the interior is replaced.

The blue stone pillars and framework will be preserved, while the old lights will be replaced by more energy-efficient, connected LEDs.

Retrofitting is the preferred solution for these old luminaires, given their historical value, but also the fact that new frames would be much more expensive.

Frédéric Langers, Public Lighting Project Manager.

Painstaking work

There are many constraints and challenges involved in this project. As Coudenberg Palace is located just below the Place Royale, the teams only have 80 cm of depth to work with. This mean they need to be particularly careful about placing cables and pipes on site.

Working with the old and fragile luminaires also requires a delicate approach. Each member of the team is therefore working with the utmost care, paying particular attention to every detail.

Global collaboration

The Place Royale project encompasses much more than just the lighting – it's a complete transformation to modernise the roads, sewers, tramways and telecom networks.

Thanks to the Osiris regional platform, our worksites are coordinated with all other key parties such as Beliris, Vivaqua, Proximus and STIB. This collaboration demonstrates the commitment and shared vision of all those involved.

Heritage in the spotlight

On the initiative of Beliris, and with the support of Sibelga's expertise, Place Royale and surrounding buildings such as the Musical Instruments Museum and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts will also benefit from new lighting.

This is yet another asset, highlighting the history and beauty of these historic sites, and harmonising the lighting of urban spaces.

Making the most of the opportunity

Sibelga will also take advantage of this major project to renovate and improve the existing electricity network. This initiative includes renewing the low- and high-voltage cables to ensure the electricity network is reliable and prepared for the next steps of the energy transition.

Contributing to the city's atmosphere

Frédéric Langers, Public Lighting Project Manager at Sibelga, is not lacking in enthusiasm when he talks about his work in Brussels: "For the past 15 years, I've devoted my energy and passion to lighting up the city of Brussels. I had the honour of adding my personal touch to the lighting on Place De Brouckère and several pedestrian zones. I'm very proud to contribute to the atmosphere of our city!"

Every family stroll through the illuminated streets of Brussels is a special moment, a celebration of the work I've been involved in.

Frédéric Langers, Public Lighting Project Manager.

Luminaries to return before summer

The Place Royale renovation project will take 4 months to complete. During this period, the luminaires will be gradually removed for storage and modernisation.

They should be back in place by summer, bringing a new lighting atmosphere to Place Royale.