Explore Madou

Located on the Small Ring road that marks the outer boundary of Brussels' city centre, the Moudou area of Brussels has a lively multicultural vibe and a winning urban attitude. Its crown jewel is the Moudu Plaza Tower. Originally built in the 1960s and redeveloped in the Noughties, this 33 storey skyscraper looks like nothing so much as a giant blue plastic lighter stood on end and rising up out of the tangled grey roofline of old Brussels. 120 metres high, with 40,000 square metres of office space, it's a sleek blue eyrie for the EU Commission's Directorate-Generale for Education and Culture, which moved into the building in 2006. In front of the tower stands Place Madou, all clean, modern concrete curves. The local authorities have done a good job of putting a friendly face on its sweeping open spaces with exercise machines that enable passers-by to grab a quick workout and amusing art installations such as reclaimed car shells stuffed with flowers and used as giant planters. Meanwhile behind the glitziness of the tower a low key pedestrianised area runs downhill. Shabby chic, lined with cafe tables and racks of clothes, it's a good place to hunt for bargains or have a coffee and a snack.