LOCATION / Brussels, Belgium
CLIENT / A2RC ARCHITECTS
AREA / 130 000 sqm above ground
PROGRAM / Offices
STATUS / Unbuilt
As a personal initiative A2RC proposed this study in 2009 as a basis for an architectural debate on Brussels’ future developments. Wanting to enjoy a project with aesthetical ambitions and technical performances the project was also a collaboration with ARUP Amsterdam Engineers. The project at rue Bara / rue de France is located on the site of a former printworks in the city centre close to the Midi railway station. The project consists of two blocks with a total of 130,000 square metres of floor area. These blocks, combined with the Midi Tower, form a complex inspired by the City of London. The project aims to create a building with a strong identity which will give a new look to the Brussels skyline. To do this, one of the two towers will be the highest in Brussels, and at the top of the building there will be a viewpoint over the city, open to the public. A shopping mall and a conference centre, accessible and visible from the main exit of the Midi station, will occupy the first two floors. The base of the two towers will be free of any construction before laying out a public area that will be sheltered from the wind, the aim being to reconcile density and the enjoyment of living in town. The building will have the latest energy recovery technologies in order to be semipassive. The structure will enable floors to be freed and large volumes to be created to house hanging gardens, which will help protect the towers from the wind. The ventilation of the building will be natural, using the pressure of the wind which will enter the hanging gardens, and will be fed upwards to the top of the tower. This height difference creates a pressure differential which ensures the dynamic of the system. The façades will have varying degrees of opaqueness to light, depending on their orientation. This intrinsically environmental urban aesthetic will enable the use of energy to be minimised. The proximity of the station is a major asset in terms of mobility and eco-dynamism.