New General Building of the Council of Europe

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New General Building of the Council of Europe
New General Building of the Council of Europe The project integrates the missing piece in the European district and helps solving Strasbourg’s puzzle in its town-countryside relationship. The project considers the urban and natural fabric, it maximizes the potential offered by microclimate, sun and winds orientation, presence of water and greenery, underground conditions and temperate continental climate in order to increase comfort and reduce running costs. Office building equipped with meeting rooms, a crèche and a landscaped garden Total surface: 22,500 square meters Office’s surface: 14,000 square meters Number of floors: 1 B + GF + 4 Number of companies: 1 (Council of Europe) Situated at the limit of the city and the countryside, the site benefits from its own strong existing elements in relationship to the functioning and the urban landmarks. The integration of the functions of Council of Europe’s General Office Building, a real landmark supporting the aforementioned building, results in a building in scale with the other institutional buildings, which creates a balance with Richard Rogers’ European Court of Human Rights. It takes into account the composition of the Allée des Droits de l’Homme and the tramway zone as well as the enlarged Allée Kastner that became a favored access to the European district. The project takes into account the canal banks, treating them as major urban features and a pedestrian area. The new building together with the other European Union buildings can now be seen as whole forming a coherent urban ensemble. Originality of the project The New General Office presents a majestic glass façade facing the canal and the city in order to express the occupant it serves while the strong monolithic building seen from the city, and yet very light with its glass façade allowing to see the atria’s activity, turns into a more varied ensemble facing the countryside. The three office wings cascading towards the countryside are not separated by glass-enclosed atria such as the ones facing the city but by open-air landscaped patios. Those office wings are gradually mixing with the landscaped patios and eventually with the garden where a crèche finds room. The crèche being designed in a radically organic-like shape finalizes the sharp contrast in between the majestic city-side elevation and the more low-profiled elevation facing the countryside. The whole building is surmounted by a steel and metal rooftop canopy acting as unifying building element protecting from the sun and at the same time subtly concealing mechanical elements within the roof. The organizational and volumetric aspects as important as they are would not fulfil today’s requirements in terms of building if careful attention would not have been paid to sustainable development aspects as these will be developed more in details in the last paragraph. The entrance atrium lobby serves all functions requested by the New General Office Building organizational chart. Using the level difference between the bridge and the canal allows for the integration of the animated conference centre within the building, while still separating the fluxes in order to ensure security. The hall and the cafeteria stand within the foyer linking the conference and meeting rooms both at the quay and entrance levels, accessible through the wide deck. The variety of spaces, views, light and green space couples the atmospheres necessary to conviviality and the feeling of belonging to the Council of Europe. Environmental qualities Technical choices consider primarily the occupant’s comfort and smart individual control of space. The building features a mixed-ventilation system (natural ventilation + double-flux ventilation). The big textile chimneys play their role in the natural ventilation of the atria. The Strasbourg climate being ultra-continental, it is getting warm and humid very quickly. The air entering though the bottom of the glassed façades is fresher because it comes from the canal. The chimneys evacuating the hot air in the building’s upper portion are naturally moving the air in the atria for a better comfort of the occupants. Apart from the social aspects linked to the atria, they are also acting as a buffer zone between the exterior and the office areas. In the atria, the climate control of the circulation areas, the foyers, the waiting rooms and the terraces is achieved >during the winter: - Through the screen façade that ensures a mean temperature of 12°C in the atrium global volume, thus meeting the RT 2000 demand of the French Thermal Regulation. - Through heat radiation from the floor and from the ceiling in the covered areas, allowing an automatic leveling of temperature in the occupied areas according to their occupation. - The winter sun radiation, low on the horizon, is absorbed by the surfaces in the atrium. >during the summer: - Through control of the solar gain in the high performance double glazing which strongly reduces the external influence and the harming direct radiation, the summer angle of incidence reflects a large part of the radiation. - Through ventilation from motorized louvers at two different levels in the screen façade favored by sun and wind ventilation towers which induce natural ventilation even in hot and damp weather. - Through circulation of chilled water in the slabs and ceiling of occupied areas - Through air intakes on the north side (external garden level) and on the east side (level of the basins) - The control of those means to fight external influences will be assisted by internal and external sensors, thus benefiting most from the natural conditions. The above choices seen allow a high environmental quality approach, following the French definition of priorities, namely regarding the main priorities elected for this building: - Harmonious relationship of the building with its immediate environment - Energy management - Activity waste management - Hygrometric comfort - Acoustical comfort - Visual comfort

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