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Brussels Airport Animal Care & Inspection Center

Every year thousands of animals travel through our national airport. In addition to companion animals, these may also include police dogs, horses, reptiles, insects and even more exotic species. Just think of the arrival of pandas in 2014. In order to receive and check these animals in the most comfortable and safe way, Brussels Airport has invested in a new specialised centre for animal transport. The design project was assigned to archipelago architects and Group Infrabo.


The welfare of the animal as focal point.

With this animal centre, Brussels Airport wanted to set the new standard at European level. The well-being of the animals was set as the central design parameter by the multidisciplinary design team.

Each animal shelter is provided with daylight in order to not to disturb the biological clock of the animals. In addition, the temperature, light intensity, light colour and ventilation rate can be managed separately in each animal enclosure and inspection room in accordance with the species. For this purpose, a central control system was developed with which the user can easily assign a group of an animal species to a room.

Also the colour and material choices were made in function of the welfare of the animals. For the flooring, an industrial floor with an aluminium oxide spreading layer was chosen. This floor is suitable for both ungulates and forklift truck traffic, and can be intensively cleaned. Around the building, two dog pastures were designed.

Both the design and execution phase took place in close collaboration with the client and the users. Krist Bertens, lead project manager at Brussels Airport, brought various experts in animal transport around the table so that the design could be tested and further refined.

The design phase ran from October 2017 to August 2018. The building was realised between March 2019 and January 2020. In June 2020, the centre became operational.

The Animal Care & Inspection Centre in figures :

Floor surface: 2000m²


  • 4 inspection rooms
  • 10 animal shelters
  • 6 horse stables
  • 8 loading and unloading gates
  • 1 lab
  • Office for 36 persons

Gallery of images

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