Discovering Brussels's architectural symbols through music 

The Iris Festival, in co-production with RTBF, is broadcasting exclusive concerts by your favourite Belgian artists online, which were recorded in well-known and lesser known venues in the capital. These locations, which are real icons of Brussels heritage, rarely host showcases. The Region's anniversary was the dream opportunity to test their exceptional acoustics. Sit back in your chair and enjoy this musical interlude on Auvio right away. 

 

Tour à plomb (Shot Tower) - Lylac 

The Tour à Plomb (shot Tower), a lesser known Brussels site, is the perfect illustration of the Brussels canal neighbourhood's industrial past. This was an old lead factory, as its French name Tour à Plomb indicates. Shut down in 1962, it hosted all kinds of projects before being attractively renovated and refurbished. Today, the Shot Tower is a cultural and sports centre, a multi-purpose venue for local initiatives.  And its role? To encourage creation, reflection and expressionYou will find Lylac in the site's bar. The acoustics are perfect for the artist's folky sounds. A lovely interlude in the heart of Brussels.    

 

Coudenberg Palace - The Magician 
Hidden under the majestic Place Royale lie the remains of the Coudenberg Palace. The underground ruins of this former residence of the Dukes of Burgundy are a real historical treasure. Today, they bear witness to Brussels' political power between the 12th and 18th centuries. The palace was also the main residence of Charles V in the 16th century. Following a fire that ravaged a large portion of the palace in 1731, it was demolished to give way to a new large-scale architectural project: the Place Royale. DJ The Magician and his electro sounds invite you to this place steeped in history.

 

 

Hôtel Métropole – Delta 

For a long time, the Métropole was one of the most prestigious hotels in Brussels before closing its doors permanently in 2020.  The palace welcomed a clientele seeking luxury and exclusivity for nearly two centuries. Various architectural styles combine harmoniously there: French Renaissance, Empire, Art nouveau, etc. The location's atmosphere, which is resolutely vintage today, still attracts many film shoots.  The former hotel also reopened its doors on an exceptional basis to host Julien Joris and Benoît Leclercq from the group Delta for a one-off concert enabling listeners to rediscover this Brussels gem.  

 


The Aegidium - Ozark Henry 
If there was a list of Brussels places where time seems to stand still, the Aegidium would take pride of place. Number 18 on the St Gilles esplanade had many identities in the 20th century. In turn, it was a cinema theatre, a dance hall, a place of worship and a day centre, before being abandoned in 1981. It encloses many architectural treasures including a gigantic theatre in Moorish style. The Aegidium is being refurbished today. After a major renovation, it should play a central role in Brussels's cultural life. Ozark Henry will appear at the top of a majestic staircase, in this venue that is straight out of a dream. The Flemish singer will sing several favourites and a few exclusive songs.  


 

COOP – Peet 

COOP occupies a magnificently renovated former flour mill dating from 1904. At the time, it produced up to 80 tons of flour per day, supplying Brussels' bakeries. Today, it's one of the most beautiful examples of restored industrial buildings in Anderlecht. Part of the building is dedicated to co-working spaces, but the COOP is also a canal discovery centre. It uses active learning methods to teach the public about the evolution of the neighbourhoods around it and also organises practical workshops and experiments. The COOP's incredible terrace alone is worth a visit, but for the time being, enjoy the flow and urban sound of Peet, a major Belgian rap artist.     

 

The Atomium - the Musiq3 orchestra  

Who doesn’t know the Atomium? Built for Expo 58, this iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times has become a true Brussels icon. More than a symbol, the Atomium is also an exhibition and events space. From up in its highest sphere, you get a 360° panoramic view of the whole of Brussels and beyond. This urban landmark, synonymous with progress and modernity, welcomes the Musiq 3 orchestra, made up of young graduate musicians, who will bring classic melodies to the giant aluminium and steel building.   


 

The Palace of Charles of Lorraine – KBR Museum - David Numwami 

Built in the 18th century, only a few privileged people have set foot on the marble floor in the sumptuous rotunda of Palace of Charles of LorraineConstruction began in 1757 of what was to become the palace of Charles-Alexander of Lorraine, the governor general of the Austrian Netherlands, on what were the remains of the former Orange-Nassau Palace. The splendour and excess of that period is gone, but the palace occasionally hosts temporary exhibitions of the KBR, of which it is a part.  The new KBR Museum takes visitors on a journey to discover the 15th century, through precious images and writings. The centrepiece of the museum? Its collection of manuscripts from the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy. Pop singer-songwriter David Numwami discovered the capital's priceless treasure for the first time during his showcase. 


 

The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History (War Heritage Institute) - Loïc Nottet 

If ever there was an unlikely venue for a concert, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History is it. The museum lies at the foot of the Cinquantenaire arcades and contains 10 centuries of military history and technology. It houses an extraordinary collection of weapons, uniforms, medals, etc. complemented by numerous testimonies, films and photographs. This extraordinary venue's crowning glory is undoubtedly the breathtaking Aviation Hall. It’s here, among the planes and helicopters, that Loïc Nottet has chosen to perform. A supercharged show that will have the wings of theSpitfiresTiger Moths, Dakotas, and other F-16 vibrating. 

 

 

 

The Cinquantenaire arcades - Typh Barrow 

The Cinquantenaire arcades overlook the eponymous park. They were built in 1880 on the initiative of Leopold II to mark fifty years of Belgian independence. The arcades are surmounted by an imposing quadriga (an ancient chariot on two wheels which is drawn by four horses). This symbol represents the province of Brabant, which was later split in two. The other provinces are depicted at the base of the arcade pillars. This impressive ensemble is topped off with the enchanting voice of Typh Barrow, a singer, songwriter and pianist who has become indispensable in the Belgian music scene.   

 

 
Koekelberg Basilica - OzyaSaskiaNoé PreszowAntoine DelieDoria D and Charles 

The National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg is one of the most impressive religious buildings in the world. It was inaugurated in 1970 after 65 years of works disrupted by two world wars. Yes, it's true, the first stone was laid in 1905! After some debate, the building chose the Art Deco style.  Although its acoustics are perfect, the Basilica has very rarely hosted secular concerts.  OzyaSaskiaNoé PreszowAntoine DelieDoria D and Charles are therefore very privileged. They make the walls of the majestic Koekelberg Basilic vibrate with special guests Alice on the roof and Blanche.