Europa Building (Résidence Palace), Belgium
In the realisation of this magnificent design by Samyn & Partners, as many parts of the historic building as possible were preserved and restored. The L-shape of the former hotel was heightened with three extra floors and was enclosed in a cube by a double steel façade. The outside of this façade received a patchwork of recovered old oak window frames originating from all member states of the European Union. A huge steel ‘Lantern’ stands at the centre of the open space. It houses not only the conference rooms, kitchens and press rooms, it also gives this beautiful building its cachet. In this sustainable project, all technologies were implemented for efficient and environment-friendly energy consumption: solar panels on the roof, rainwater for toilets and low-energy technical appliances regulating lighting, humidity and temperature. The façade design too was optimised, requiring 30 percent less steel than for a traditional façade. Résidence Palace: an innovative, sustainable architectural jewel!