Foster + Partners has completed an office complex with gridded layout that provides flexible working environments and industrial appearance in Belval, Luxembourg.
The new office complex, named ICÔNE, covers an 18,800-square-metre area and is filled with light and greenery.
The office building is designed to “encourage a spirit of co-creation and collaboration.”
The project started construction in 2020, while the first conceptual plans were revealed in 2018. The project was completed in 2022.
Foster + Partners has created a flexible layout according to the changing needs for flexible and safe working environments that will emerge in the future.
The design scheme also takes cues from the rich industrial heritage of Belval, revitalising the area by making a positive contribution to the site and its surroundings. The new office complex is targeted to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.
“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of this landmark project for Belval, which we began designing in 2016, well before the pandemic began,” said Darron Haylock, Partner, Foster + Partners.
“Covid has highlighted the need for healthier and more flexible urban workspaces, which is exactly what this project provides. The light-filled central atrium is the beating heart of the complex, promoting collaboration and enhancing employee wellbeing.”
Located in Belval, a new city quarter combining research, education, leisure and commerce, Foster + Partners’ scheme is adapted to the scale of neighbouring buildings and addresses the different characteristics of the surrounding streets.
The studio articulates entrances differently by considering Porte de France, the main urban street to the west and the Place de l’Académie to the East.
New shops, cafés and restaurants will bring life to these entrance elevations at pedestrian level.
“As a forerunner in this field, ICÔNE is a ‘smart building’ dedicated to the wellbeing of its occupants. We have designed office space that encourages interactivity, creativity and performance, while adapting to the environmental requirements of tomorrow,” said Geoffroy Bertrand, Country Director, BESIX RED Luxembourg.
Foster + Partners has worked with local practice BFF architectes to complete the building. Arranged as two wings enclosing the central atrium, all are wrapped by a distinctive orthogonal façade and roof which emphasises the structural grid. According to the studio, “this gives the building appropriate to its industrial setting.”
The historic and symbolic Belval blast furnace forms the central focus of the dramatic vista from the atrium.
“It was a great honor and pleasure to participate in the creation of this unique building that responds to the beacon of history, the Haut Fourneau B. During this exceptional and respectful collaboration with Foster + Partners, we were able to create a building with a pared-down design that embodies the industrial aesthetic to create a bright, transparent and relevant space,” said Tom Beiler, Partner, BFF.
The fluidity of the internal space creates a contrast with the building’s formal exterior. Level changes between the street and the plaza are achieved through a series of stepped terraces which create a spectacular arrival sequence.
The vibrancy of the internal spaces is created with the open circulation and communal green landscaped terraces for informal meetings and break out spaces at higher levels as part of a rich and varied whole.
The façade is conceived as structural and environmentally responsive, providing an integrated solution which allows for internal column-free office spaces as well as solar shading and maximised internal daylight.
The external façade benefits from a series of external green loggias, visible from both the inside and outside of the building.
Ground level plan
Level 3 plan
Project name: ICÔNE
Architects: Foster + Partners
Local architects: BFF architectes
Location: Belval, Luxembourg
Client: BESIX RED Luxembourg
Quantity Surveyor: Q-Build Luxembourg
Lighting Engineer: Greisch Luxembourg
Structural Engineer: NEY
Environmental Engineer: Greisch Luxembourg
All images © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners.
All drawings © Foster + Partners.
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