Belgique – Bâtiment Europa (Résidence Palace)

Europa Building (Résidence Palace), Belgium

Résidence Palace, the brilliant art-deco building dating from the interbellum, was renovated and extended with the construction of a new building and turned into an office and conference complex for the Council of Europe. This assignment for the highest European authorities had extremely strict sustainability requirements, as well as safety requirements (fire, intrusion, terrorism...) and comfort requirements.

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!