European Investment Bank
The new headquarters building for the European Investment Bank (EIB), with its compelling 13,000 square-metre glass roof, extends Sir Denys Lasdun’s existing buildings on Luxembourg’s Kirchberg plateau. Located between boulevard Konrad Adenauer and Val des Bons Malades, it provides 72,500 square metres of office space and other facilities for up to 750 employees. The new building supports the goals set out by Ricardo Bofill’s urban design strategy for the Kirchberg plateau by creating a denser streetscape with a straight front. On the other hand, the curved façade at the rear follows the topography of the site, thus taking inspiration from the neighbouring Lasdun building, while at the same time creating a new building with its own architectural identity. The striking tubular glass roof spans the entire, 170-metre long and 50-metre wide structure. In combination with an extremely lightweight glass and steel superstructure, it offers a maximum of daylight and transparency. In addition, the building’s zigzag plan encourages a non-hierarchical office layout that promotes interaction and communication. This unrivalled office environment is carried by an environmental programme that reflects a progressive approach towards sustainability in architecture. Key to the new headquarters’ ecological concept is the glass roof which curves around the floor plates to create the atriums in the V-shaped “gaps` of the building wings. The landscaped winter gardens on the valley side are unheated and act as climate buffers. In contrast, the atriums on the boulevard side serve as circulation spaces; hence temperatures have to be kept at a comfortable level. Both winter gardens and “warm` atriums are naturally ventilated through openable flaps in the shell to draw fresh air into the building and to reduce heat gain especially in the summer months. The entire office space benefits from natural light and outside views. Mechanical systems such as lighting, sun shading, heating, cooling and ventilation can be controlled individually. Excessively wasteful behaviour is still being avoided as individual settings are reset to the most efficient levels several times a day by the central control unit. Staff members can open their windows to the atriums and winter gardens or to the outside at almost all times. The architects and the client place great importance on the green performance of the building. Therefore, having the new headquarters environmentally certified seemed a logical conclusion. As a result, the new building has not only achieved the coveted “very good` rating under the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), it is also the first building on continental Europe to have been assessed under this scheme. Every effort has been made to ensure that the building is accessible to everyone. All main entrance points have been fitted with doors for disabled access. Generally, doors have no sills to allow level entry for wheelchair users. Vertical circulation is guaranteed by a dedicated lift for wheelchair users, with all other lifts being disabled user friendly. The new EIB building offers flexibility from a structural down to an organisational level. Entire units can thus be moved almost as easily as individual office areas and their related facilities without having to refit basic furnishings and technical services. At the points of intersection, where individual areas meet, communication and spontaneous interaction are encouraged, thereby contributing to a friendly working environment. The design for the new EIB headquarters succeeds in creating a building that stands as a unique symbol for the Bank’s values while at the same time it enters into a creative dialogue with both its landscape setting and the existing building complex. The tubular glass envelope allows the offices to be filled with daylight. The transparency of the external envelope is reflected internally by an open and flexible office layout that promotes communication. A clear architectural language, accessibility and easy orientation within the building and a pleasant, light-filled environment coupled with state-of-the-art technology will ensure a high degree of staff satisfaction and will lead to identification with both the building and its owner.


15 photos and 7 drawings

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated 28 media and updated
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    Teodora Todorova updated 18 media and uploaded 3 media
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  • Hendrik Hebel
    Hendrik Hebel commented
    beautiful building with very efficient energy usage!
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
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