The architect Stefano Boeri designs Palazzo Verde in Belgium, a little gem in Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid district. He and his partners at Stefano Boeri Architetti (Francesca Cesa Bianchi e Marco Giorgio), officially presented the brand-new building realized together with construction partner Triple Living.

Client: Triple Living
Project: Stefano Boeri Architetti
Partners: Stefano Boeri
Francesca Cesa Bianchi

Design Team: Stefano Boeri, Francesca Cesa Bianchi (Project director); Hana Narvaez (Project leader), Alessandra Magnetti (Design), with Daniele Barillari, Elisa Versari e Mario Shilong Tan (Renders), Sara Gangemi (Senior Landscape Architect).

Local Architects: OM / AR Marc Van Hove, Dries Anthonissen
Agronomist and Botanist, Plantation consultant: Dott. Laura Gatti
Impianti: Sweco
Installations: Ing. Dirk De Groof
Acoustics: D2S International
Structures: Group D
Contractor: Van Laere

The Greenest Building in Belgium By Stefano Boeri Architetti - Sheet1
©Stefano Boeri Architetti

“I believe that our cities must play a leading role in the battle against the dramatic consequences of climate change. We must urgently make them greener if we wish to succeed in turning the tide”, says the architect Stefano Boeri with great commitment when describing his vision of the future.

That includes Nieuw Zuid, where sustainability, green, ecology and a future-oriented vision are vital parameters with elements such as green roofs, recycling flows, innovative materials, future-oriented insulation standards and a central heat network. The entire neighbourhood where Palazzo Verde is inserted, is an example to the city of how we wish to face the future.

The Greenest Building in Belgium By Stefano Boeri Architetti - Sheet3
©Stefano Boeri Architetti

Palazzo Verde: smart architecture

The name Palazzo Verde, meaning Green Palace, is no coincidence, since the L-shaped design contains a total of 86 trees, 1,000 shrubs and 1,200 plants, reaching up to 780 m2 of total green surface. In addition to plenty of green on the patios and three lush roof gardens, Palazzo Verde also features a garden courtyard of approximately 2000 m2.

The project is the very first residential project on Belgian soil to purify the urban air. According to calculations by botanists and engineers at Stefano Boeri Architetti, the building’s smart architecture can clean up more than 30 tons of CO2 per year.

Public space and private space frequently come together in this new project which perfectly integrates architecture with the urban and environmental context in which it is inserted, bringing large portions of nature to its interior. The presence of a flight of steps, which also acts as a public amphitheater, allows direct access from the courtyard to the Circularity Centre, a place where since it offers tools and the necessary spaces, residents and citizens have the opportunity to repair their bicycles or other household items.

The Greenest Building in Belgium By Stefano Boeri Architetti - Sheet4
©Stefano Boeri Architetti

The entire building has 67 apartments and has been designed following a 5 x 5 meter grid that determines both the volumetric layout and the design of the façades. These are made up of alternating balconies and loggias based on the threshold concept and the movement of limits between inside and outside. The overall volume has variable heights, with the highest sections having five and six floors and the lower central point only three floors in order to offer the possibility for architecture to host the development of a small forest distributed on the shared terraces on the fourth, sixth and seventh floors.

The presence of 6 apartments on top of the buildings highlights their double or triple exposure and underlines their relationship with the selected native species planted on private terraces following the natural concepts of woods and undergrowth. Particular attention has been paid to the detailed design of balconies and loggias. The former has been designed purely as outdoor spaces and as such have white plaster on the walls and wooden flooring while the second, on the other hand, are entirely covered with wood in such a way as to allow residents to annex them to their homes thus extending the living space as enclosed areas designed to be used 365 days a year. The street view is characterized by a ground floor used for commercial spaces, in total contrast with the internal environment reserved for the courtyard which is characterized by more exclusive spaces intended for recreational spaces and green surfaces.

©Stefano Boeri Architetti

Future of greener cities

“The more we can incorporate living nature in our cities, the more effective we will be in dealing with climate change”, explains Stefano Boeri. “Just think of the advantages: better air quality, reduced energy consumption, more urban biodiversity. And, also very important, a green environment boosts the happiness of its residents. Given all these benefits, green designs such as Palazzo Verde are crucial in the coming years. Cities will be called upon to multiply the number of trees within the urban fabric in an exponential way, improving the air quality and consequently the lives of the inhabitants: a challenge that is necessary to face immediately. Planting a tree is an effective, economical and inclusive way to cope with the climate crisis, and Palazzo Verde is a great example of this”.

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Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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