1st prize in the international competition
Client: POST Luxembourg
Structural engineers: T6 – Ney & Partners and INCA
Technical engineers: Goblet Lavandier & Associés
Acoustic engineers: INCA
Façade engineers: VS-A (during project planning phase)
DGNB consultant: E3 consult
Monument protection / Restoration: Dr. Thomas Lutgen
Fire protection expert: Dr. Peter Borgs
The new POST Headquarters building site is located in a dense urban environment, within an urban block featuring various building typologies. Moreover, the project site includes an existing historical building, ‘Accinauto’, which is to be refurbished and integrated with the new building.
To respect the regulatory framework and urban coherence, the integration of POST Headquarters within the social and economic context requires a multi-disciplinary approach (the client, the City of Luxembourg, architects, town planners, the sites and national monuments service, landscape designers, etc..), giving as much importance to the process as to the final result.
The building site is facing the main traffic nucleus of the country: train station, bus stations, future tram lines and[GR1] a vast circulation of vehicles and pedestrians, all happening across the ‘Place de la Gare’. To reinforce the character of the square, the new volume should respect its urban context by aligning the neighboring facades and roofs whilst establishing a distinctive character. Therefore, the new POST Headquarters building must play the role of a link regarding its frontal expression facing the square. The two lateral corners must mark the perspectives. These ideas result in folding and rotation of the roof of the existing ‘Accinauto’ building, only to progressively be transformed in a vertical plane, reaching the same alignment of the neighboring façade. This transformation game from façade to roof also facilitates the amalgam of a contemporary proposal and historical architecture. The project plays a role of a link between these two languages while at the same time guaranteeing POST Headquarters a unique identity. A set-back floor on top will feature a restaurant for the employees, benefiting from a spectacular view over the city.
The architectural proposal for the new building conveys contradictions between mass and openness. The use of stone as the main façade element, was deemed most appropriate for the right integration into the context. The façade features vertical slats that change their size and inclination according to their position and interior organization requirements, thus the building is changing its aspect depending on the point of observation – lateral or frontal. Even though the slats are static, the building in a certain sense ‘becomes alive’ and breathes with the adjacent square.
The client summed up the design requirements in three keywords: well-being, user-friendliness, and networking. They expressed their clear desire to innovate and progress and their organizational complexity and required the new building to reflect these characteristics. The project therefore should offer a pleasant working atmosphere and excellent interior organization while maintaining space for possible future changes.
We aimed for a design that would feature a relaxed, friendly working atmosphere and encourage the expression of creativity form motivated employees. We wanted to translate well-being, user-friendliness whilst networking in a simple language, resulting in connecting spaces and functions in a formal circulation node we called ‘The Hub’. It is a vertical vertebra of the building, perceivable from all the floors, that ultimately represents all the values of the company – network organization, interconnection, mobility, flow, proximity, identity, well-being. ‘The Hub’ connects all the common areas. In addition to being dedicated to recreation and meetings, these common spaces will feature various training, conferences, and other events. ‘The Hub’ is flooded with light, encourages visual recognition and connection between employees whilst fostering the feeling of belonging to an family, entity and/or community.