The site is situated at the entrance of the city of Namur (Belgium). Limited in size and squeezed between the access road, the railways and below the entrance bridge. These constraints had to become a strength for our project.
Studio Name ; BAEB Bureau d’Architectes Emmanuel Bouffioux
Client ; Artone, Belfius Bank.
Design Team ; Emmanuel Bouffioux, Daniel Martin, Andrea Manzini.
Area; 6000 m2
Location; Namur Belgium
Consultants; Ps2, Ellyps, Setesco
Photography Credits; George de Kinder, Laurent Verdier
After a long discussion and brainstorming with our client, it was obvious that this location was ideal for their new headquarters. It offered visibility and identity at the entrance of the city. Another advantage of this site is that it’s the first building in a future masterplan for the renovation of the station and the industrial area alongside the railroad tracks, it must stand out from the other projects that will come later.
The concept and development of the project drew its strength from the site constraints.
The main difficulties we encountered were the accessibility to the site, the elevation difference between the road and the site and the technical difficulties encountered while working directly next to a busy railroad and road.
From the level of the railroad the first three stories consist of parking, no excavation was needed, and the elevation difference and accessibility challenges were solved.
The structure consists of prefabricated and in-situ concrete in combination with steel girders and trusses in more difficult areas. The facing system is a composed of aluminum casings set in a strict grid. Each module is prefabricated and assembled on site.
The shape of the building is similar to that of a ship in the middle of railroad tracks. Its volume is wider at the base encompassing the whole floor area of the site and at each level the building is sculpted to emphasize the narrowness of the site and giving a clear identity to the entrance of the city. The triangular shape of the site is translated in the geometry of the building, from the floor plans the aluminium cladding shinning like a gem in the sun.