Concise and sustainable facade for Council of Europe administration building
The MIPIM Awards at the International Property Market in Cannes is seen as the Oscar of the Building Industry. The award in the category "Office Buildings" - for the best office building worldwide 2008 - went to the Central Office Building of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, which has a chocolate-brown ArGeTon facade as one of its most distinguishing features. As if that were not enough, the prominent building on the Rhine-Marne Canal also won the BEX Award 2008 in the category "Sustainable Development" presented in London. The core objective of the International BEX (The Building Exchange) Awards is to draw attention to the themes of sustainability, innovation, energy efficiency and interdisciplinary collaboration in the building sector. The awards are presented for innovative and exceptional building projects which constitute positive solutions for upcoming problems connected to global climate change.
The architecture firms Art & Build (Brussels) and Denu & Paradon (Strasburg) designed an energy-saving building which allows for natural lighting via the inner courtyards. The architects attached great importance to sustainability and longevity as well as aesthetic aging behaviour when selecting the specific building materials.
The prominent features of the new Council of Europe building include the ArGeTon Facade and an extravagant, protruding roof as well as window banks and glazed facades largely flush with the building facade. The facade constitutes a central component within an intriguing melange of colours and materials - which include glass, ceramics, concrete and metal. Upon a special request by the architects, this unusual colour was developed from the "red-brown" colour of ceramic clay. To this end, the technicians in the ArGeTon GmbH factory in Görlitz, where the facing tiles were produced, mixed several clay types together - each of which turn a different colour when fired. During the subsequent building phases, about 3,000 m² of ArGeTon panels in the formats 150 x 400 mm and 150 x 500 mm were fired. In addition to this, the architects also decided to integrate about 2,000 Barros*. These brick bars were used in the bottom two floors of the building. Their strong shadows now define the base of the building. The Central Office Building, which is part of the adjacent Council of Europe, offers 14,000m² of office space and 8,500m² in conference rooms.
* The Barro brick bar, also called a baguette, serves as sun shield and screen. Moreover, it confers a modern and open touch to the building - and is usually fitted in front of the glazed facade.