Occupying a neighbourhood that was partially modelled in the mid-19th century by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer and extensively damaged and run-down in the wake of the Second World War, the State Cité Administrative or Administrative City was once home, until around ten years ago, to the offices of several government ministries. The Alpha group, an association made up of architects Marcel Lambrichs, Gustave Ricquier, Hugo van Kuyck and Léon Stynen, was behind this complex of 1950s buildings typical of the period. The gardens, adorned with sculptures created by Nat Neujean and Michel Olyff, were designed by René Pechère, who took full advantage of the 2.5 hectare site, distributed over two levels. The first garden consists of a series of cabinets de verdure or outdoor “green rooms” placed symmetrically on either side of a long central canal interrupted by a square pond with fountain, itself flanked by four ponds with three jets. The second level, slightly below, is organised in a spiral around play areas interspersed with green shrubbery. Although a number of changes were made to the original project, the gardens retain the ordered layout of their designer.
Passed on the walking tours “From the Botanical Gardens to the greenery of the Administrative City!” and “The Notre-Dame-aux-Neiges neighbourhood: an oasis of greenery”.