when a new, sustainable building reflects the multiple capabilities of its user
The client’s request was for the design of an operational headquarters in order to group together, on the same site, several companies of the Vinci group.
It very quickly became apparent that these companies had different needs: offices, storage space, workshops, and testing & assembly laboratories. It was therefore necessary to propose a building that was sufficiently flexible in its design to absorb these different functions. From an architectural point of view, this project is located in a rather heterogeneous environment.
|program||offices, storage, warehouse & laboratory|
|client||Vinci Energies Belgium|
|address||avenue Georges Lemaître 49 • 6041 Gosselies|
|building type||research • work|
|expertises||architectureb.i.mlandscape designproject managementconstruction managementhealth & safety coordinationfeasibility studiesprogramming|
|team||• client: Vinci Energies Belgium|
• architect: assar
• contractors: BAM Galère + Cegelec
• stability & special techniques: Pirnay
• space planning: Vinci Facilities
These elements led us to choose a simple, understated language, namely a white cladding that unfolds, envelops, and unifies the different parts of the building. The layout of the building can be read as two squares joined by an angle.
The first square contains the offices and meeting room areas, while the second contains the storage, laboratory, and testing areas.
The first is located close to the main street, while the second is set back. At the intersection, a single shared entrance for all staff, production staff and all other employees, to affirm that everyone belongs to the same group, and the same company.
This geometry is practical and also references the VINCI logo. It seemed interesting to us to show that what unites these different companies is also their belonging to a group, even if this observation is a subtle one because it is something that is only visible from the sky.
The junction between these two parts is compact but extremely important in terms of functionality. In fact this area serves, on the one hand, as a connecting point between the different parts of the building and, on the other hand, as the main entrance to the building. This entrance is marked on the façade by an emphasis of the glass wave – which continues around the perimeter of the meeting room areas, accessible to the public.
The entrance atrium thus serves the different parts of the building, but also its functional heart, the technical premises. These are located on the top floor, in the direct extension of the offices of the Cegelec company that equipped them.
This position also makes it possible to extend to the roof, whose façade waves absorb the differences in height and conceal the equipment installations.
sustainability & user comfort
The 24.000 m² or so of the building have been designed to offer 6.000 m² of office space, with an adjoining warehouse, as well as a 3.000 m² storage and laboratory space. No less than 15.000 m² is dedicated to green spaces around the building.
Overall, the focus is on sustainability and renewable energy. In addition to solar panels and heat pumps, 28 charging stations for electric vehicles have been installed.
User comfort is not forgotten! This is guaranteed by the smart building installations, which allow for personalized management by work zone. The ergonomics of the workstations, relaxation, and work areas have also been thought through to the last detail.
multifunctionality in uniformity
Vinci Facilities has designed the building to meet the specific needs of each entity (9 Business Units) present in the building, while maintaining uniformity and harmony with the overall architecture.
• coefficient: Ew = 61