Bruck + Weckerle
Laboratory and Administrative Office Building in Belval / Luxembourg
best architects 18
Esch-sur Alzette / Luxembourg
The building stands in the vicinity of two blast furnaces, listed buildings in the extensive brown-field land of Esch-Belval, being redeveloped as a new urban area and university campus. Situated diagonally opposite the blast furnaces, the construction plays an important role in the urban development of the area. The structure consists of a foundation base from which a tower rises skywards. The geometric shape and height of the base is in keeping with the context and integrates well with the nearby buildings.
Luxembourg’s first clinker-brick clad high-rise building stands embedded in the region’s still-present industrial past, alongside chimneys and industrial sheds of clinker brick, and is rooted in the iron-rich earth. The tower becomes increasingly lighter as it rises. With each storey, layer by layer of brick facade cedes its place to aluminium cladding. Finally, only the vertical elements remain in brick, reaching skywards. Existing plane trees were assimilated into the project. Along with the neighbouring buildings, this creates an open square in front of the entrance. The central core on the ground floor is covered in stainless steel, suggestive of a reflective surface of flowing water and thus alluding to the Water Board for which the majority of the building is intended. The polished steel also reflects the outside world and turns the entry hall into a public space. Above ground floor are three floors of laboratorys and technicians’ rooms and twelve storeys of office space.