Cepezed Designs New Headquarters for Environment Brussels

The Delft, The Netherlands, based Cepezed Architects will design the new headquarters of Environment Brussels, the former Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment.

The preliminary design features the extensive use of glass and a compact volume beneath a curved and largely transparent roof. A central atrium has been designed as a continuation of the public domain.

Aside from offices, the new Environment Brussels headquarters holds a visitor’s centre on ecological subjects, an auditorium, a multimedia library, a meeting centre and a restaurant. The ground floor also houses a laboratory, through which large transparent walls offer a view of the tests and examinations Environment Brussels executes.

In addition, a U-shaped plan embraces the southward-directed atrium, of which all offices have a clear view. The atrium is designed to function as a central meeting point for users and visitors and plays a role in the climate concept of the building. Its largely glass roof also adds to the transparent quality of the building.

The building is being designed according to the criteria applying for passive constructions. Not only does the design provide compact construction so that the façades have a relatively low surface area, but heat-resistant glass combined with awnings that respond to the impact of the sun also guarantees a high reflectivity of the construction skin. The application of a threefold glazing in a façade system with thermal interruptions reduces the loss of warmth through the façades. Individual ventilation units in the facades also help prevent high temperatures during the summer.