Construction cost, Euro: 300 million
Gross square meters: 184.000
Design period: 2001-2002
Role of firm: Responsible for urban design and architecture
Project architects: Camillo Gubitosi, Alessandro Gubitosi (Interplan, Naples), D. Walker (SHC architects, London), A. Salmon (AAG, Brussels)
Interplan Seconda, in association with Atelier d'Architecture de Genval (Brussels) e Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (London) (AAG-INT-SHC), won the 2nd prize at the International Architectural Competition for the new NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The proposal was selected in a shortlist of 3 projects among 156 candidates wntries from all over the NATO countries.
The master planning and buildings organization reinforce the overall energy and ecological approach in the Concept Design in the different ways:
- Building orientation - the HQ enclosure is orientated east-west to minimize the impact of low angle sun;
- The compact design reduces the surface area of external envelope and resultant energy demands;
- The HQ proper is organised within an ecological enclosure, providing a buffer zone against extreme outside weather conditions and reducing log term energy consumption.
Many forms of building were investigated, from individual pavilions, through atrium joined buildings and finally the Biosphere where all buildings are within a common roof and walls. The Biosphere provides the most opportunities for use of natural climate defence and recycling of energy, leading to the most efficient building form (using only 67% of single building structure heat energy). The main building elements are covered under a closed transparent layer, creating open hall areas and daylight atria spaces, providing buffer zones against extreme outside weather conditions. The transparent buffer zone, the Biosphere, is an unconditioned winter "garden spaces", taking advantage of natural usage of solar energy to significantly reduce heating energy consumption during winter, whilst plants and foliage improve both the microclimate and the visual comfort. Thanks to the Biosphere and the building facade design, heat energy demand of the office and the conference building is cut down to approximately 67% compared to a standard building configuration.
NATO Central Brussels Headquarters
Brussels, Belgium, 2002
2nd prize winning competition entry