Trade Mart Brussels hired Creneau to breathe new life into the dynamics of the physical showrooms and their kilometres and kilometres of corridors.

The goal? Adding value for the retailer and their visitors at TradeMart.

Spoiler? Mission accomplished.

Since the seventies, Trade Mart Brussels has been the place where fashion retailers gather to buy new collections. Until a few years ago, retailers naturally came to the giant under the Atomium. It’s no secret that the retail landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Trade Mart was no longer a necessity, as other alternatives presented themselves.

In addition, e-commerce is perhaps the factor that has been most disruptive. Biggest question: How can we make Trade Mart relevant in the 21st century? How can we make 40,000 square metres of showrooms and kilometres of corridors attractive to a new generation of retailers?







We got lost in Trade Mart every time, literally every time. Everything looked identical: each corridor leads to a new corridor that leads to a ... another corridor.

This maze of corridors and alleys reminded us of a medieval city. (Unfortunately, not one where you’d want to get lost in.)

By considering the building as a city and the ground plan as a city plan, we were able to carry out a number of urban interventions that took it all from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

We’ve widened and redirected the streets. We created squares and open spaces because the building was in dire need of air and space.

We fitted the new open space with elements that were lacking: meeting rooms, inspiration nooks, and most important of all, orientation points. Just as a city tripper finds their way in an unknown city based on landmarks, we wanted to create our own landmarks in the form of squares: open spaces with a specific identity and function.

From playground to park, from sports track to urban café: each square has its own look and is unique, making it a landmark.

The Park

A city park with abstract trees that serve as bar tables for Friday afternoon drinks.



The Track

A running track surrounded by sports brand showrooms, including grandstands, sports nets and display cases defines this square.

The Market

The Market was created for exhibitors who do not have their own showroom. They will have the opportunity to set up their stand in The Market for several weeks.

It used to be quite a challenge to find this place in the long, secretive corridors. Now the two entrances of The Market have been physically enlarged by demolishing several showrooms.

You’ll also be lured to the entrance by two theatrical canopies. The space is closed off by roller blinds with a print of two giant python-esque feet.

The Hub

A room with a view. A view of the Atomium. This space is multipurpose: coworking space, meeting room, event room, etc.

Retailers are given the opportunity to rent The Hub for the launch of their new collection, a presentation, or a brainstorming session.

The Greenhouse

An urban bar with lots of green. A café where people meet each other and escape from their showroom.

The Playground

An abstract playground in which the swings and merry-go-rounds become display cases. The square is the showcase for children’s shoes at Trade Mart.


The Metropole is a miniature of the city. It is a giant model of an imaginary city where the buildings function as display cabinets.

Fashion Gardens

One little red door. This is the main entrance to the Fashion Gardens. Almost impossible for visitors to find.

The red door is still there. But we designed the hallway towards it and its surroundings like a real ‘garden’, making it a recognisable point.



This assignment went a lot further than creating a pretty picture. We have heavily intervened in the layout and flow of the building and created spaces that weren’t there yet.

This change was not self-evident for our client: open space means fewer showrooms and fewer showrooms means less return on investment in a short space of time. At least in the head of the real estate agent.

Our proposal turned out to be radical, but did bring about a change in mentality. In the end, our approach did lead to better returns: since the renovation of the Shoes & Leather department, all the brands suddenly want to be in this zone.

After the successful renovation of this department, we are currently working on the renovation of the two entrances, which are also hidden under several layers of gypsum and are urgently in need of a makeover.

Scope of work

interior design
project management




Brussel — Belgium


Trade Mart