This architectural competition, the most prestigious in the country, has been held since 1992 by the Architecture and Building Foundation.This year it attracted a record entry of 72 projects.
The AGC Glass Building obtained a BREEAM1 certification level of "excellent" in its design stage. This quasi zero-energy building is designed by "Philippe Samyn and Partners sprl Architects & Engineers – BEAI sa" and was built by the Van Roey general contracting company. Its energy consumption for heating, cooling and artificial lighting is met almost entirely by the 900 photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof together with ground heat pumps.
The building, which stands on stilts above the ground-floor car park, has a double outside skin of glass. The first skin (on the inside) consists of double glazing in extra-clear glass with superinsulating and solar control coatings2. The second skin (on the outside) for its part is truly unique because it is dynamic, made up of movable louvres3 of screenprinted glass with alternating white stripes on either side. The louvres automatically follow the movement of the sun to let in the maximum amount of natural light while protecting the people inside from glare and excess heat. Inside the building has offices, a conference centre, a dining area, patios and gardens spread over two floors. A majestic gallery that also incorporates an auditorium spreads across the width of the building.
1: Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment: European certification attesting the environmental performance of a building.
2: Outer walls fitted with Thermobel TopN+ on Clearvision chosen as the best compromise between thermal insulation, colour rendering and maximum light admission. Inside walls (facing the patios) fitted with Thermobel EnergyN on Clearvision, selected for its excellent performance in terms of thermal insulation and solar control.
3: Invented by Dr Ir Philippe Samyn and developed jointly with the AGC R&D Centre.
AGC Glass Europe, a European leader in flat glass
Based in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), AGC Glass Europe produces, processes and markets flat glass for the construction industry (external glazing and interior decoration), car manufacture and solar power applications. It is the European branch of AGC, the world’s leading producer of flat glass. It has over 100 sites throughout Europe, from Spain to Russia, and employs around 14,500 employees.