The largest project completed by Baumschlager Eberle Architekten in Europe to date, the new Montagne du Parc (BNP Paribas Fortis HQ ) building in Brussels is an outstanding example of how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at the early stage of architectural completion.
Meeting the client’s energy, resource consumption, and structural demands, the project sets high aesthetic, social, and cultural standards resulting in an architectural gem for both the bank and city, enhancing the neighbourhood and providing an inspiring work place for 4,100 people on a total ground floor area of 100,000 m².
Construction works commenced with a careful floor-by-floor demolition of the old building on site. Thanks to careful material separation and recycling, this careful demolition provided valuable resources in a good example of the circular economy.
A large underground structure was also reused while the small number of car paring spaces compared to bicycle stands indicated the building client’s commitment to the environment. The use of the existing underground space as a seasonal heat accumulator together with solar panels on the roof ensure highly efficient operation and an energy balance close to zero. The 5000 m2 roof space also serves as habitat for bees, birds, and a variety of plants.
The building’s appearance is defined by the load-bearing supports that mitigate the scale of the building. A polychrome effect is further created with an iridescent green fuchsite granulate sourced through an environmentally optimized transport and processing system. Columns were made using reusable inserts of local wood and the ribbed roof structure ensures an economical use of material.
Arcades, courtyards and a lift connecting the two parts of the city are publicly accessible, though security concerns and current usage mean that the atrium and sky lobby are not. Inside, the building is designed for flexibility, allowing for a range of uses including health and residential while the ground floor provides space for shops, hospitality and public use.