In association with SHC Architects, London and AAG Architects, Brussels, Interplan was a leading architect of the design team formed for this successful competition entry. The strength of the scheme developed by the consortium was awarded by NATO with the second prize at the International Competition that saw the team competing against some of the most renowned architects in the world. The jury composed among others by Meinhard Von Gerkan, Rafael Vinoly and Fumihiko Maki, awarded the first prize to Skidmore, Owings - Merrill, and the third to the Koetter / Kim Associates studio. The competition, structured in three phases, had previously selected 156 architects in the first phase, 21 during the second, and 6 in the third and last phase. The 6 finalists developed a detailed preliminary project, on the basis of which the jury selected the winners. The new complex will rise on the 40 hectares of the former military base of the Roi Albert I Royal Airforce. The program envisages the construction of a total of 172,000 m2 (with an optional extension of 4,400 m2) divided as follows: 111,500 m2 for offices, 19,500 m2 for meeting places and conference rooms, 24,800 m2 for services, 9,300 m2 for administration.
The goal of maximizing daily quality of life for the 3500 users drove our design towards an innovative working environment concept. Offices are distributed in blocks over a compact grid and the whole space is protected by a large “biosphere” enclosure. The space inside the biosphere is an intermediate – naturally ventilated – thermal buffer area between the outside and the office interior space, allowing for efficient energy use and lower consumption, in addition to exceptional thermal comfort.