In 2011, the Treurenberg building dating from the 1960s was the subject of an architecture competition, the idea being to redevelop the site to create mainly office space. The option of total demolition and reconstruction was retained in order to put up a new building compliant with current local and technical standards using progressive building solutions to achieve the ultimate aim of creating a net zero energy building certified “Excellent” by BREEAM.
The challenge facing the architects was to design a high-quality office building in the city centre close to the institutions and travel hubs that would also fit into the historical urban context by exploiting the existing heritage. At the same time, they were tasked with making the building energy efficient in line with the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification. The outcome of this brief was a compact building around an asymmetrical atrium that would reveal the remains of Brussels’ first city walls.
There is no doubt that the most striking original feature of the building is the showcase it offers for Brussels’ first city walls. A patio has been created between the building and the wall, making it visible from public space and allowing the creation of small garden filled with vegetation. The entrance to the building is largely glazed over two floors, which helps to provide an excellent visibility to the tenant by creating a strong visual link, allowing its occupiers to benefit from the light-flooded atrium. To achieve the zero energy target and the BREEAM Excellent certification, the building has been given a compact and efficient shape. It is hinged around an atrium that reaches up from the patio on the underground level to the 5th floor that boasts a stunning indoor terrace affording wonderful views over Brussels’ historic centre. The 5th floor also opens onto an accessible outdoor terrace. The atrium generates a source of natural light and creates a pleasant friendly environment atmosphere. The building is built in natural stone from France and integrates perfectly with the existing historic buildings. The interior layout with its elegantly simple black and white theme combined with one colour and wood radiates an atmosphere of quality and rigour, offset by the warmth of the natural wood features.
With total office space of 9.812 square metres, for an overall capacity of 710 people, the Treurenberg office space is designed to be rational and extremely flexible. The office floors can be divided up as required and are ideal for open spaces or individual offices.