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The Dexia Tower: iconic building in vibrant dark red enamelled steel façade
The full-steel architecture offers a powerful contrast between the parts made of full enamelled steel, with its deep, refined, and vibrant dark red colour, and the glass façades of the tower, that are crystalline and entirely transparent.
The Site of the DEXIA-BIL administrative centre in Esch-Belval constitutes a major decision and action on two fronts:
- it links together many services now spread out over about twenty different buildings; it therefore means that this site can perform even more strongly in the future.
- it is a strong landmark because of its installation in Esch-Belval right on the French border; it will therefore represent the first important set-up - the figurehead - which will confirm Dexia's and Luxembourg's faith in the future of this large urban project on an emblematic site, made unique by its singular silhouettes of the old blast furnaces of Arbed.
The project will be the cornerstone, located in the north-west corner of the first major square of Esch-Belval - called 'Stahlhof'. It initiates the lines that will define the urban landscape of the future Boulevard de Micheville - from the east of the place des Arts - of the north-west corner of Stahlhof. The DEXIA Tower, which is the flagship of the project, as it is a large visual landmark, will contrast with and complement the overlying blast-furnace structures.
This project is organised around a vast atrium - the heart of the project - located in the north-east corner of the square, which will be the distribution space of all these buildings, which will gradually complete this services complex, and which slender glass footbridges will link up. Four levels of infrastructure will complete this project in order to integrate all the logistical areas, as well as the parking spaces needed for staff.
The project will thus benefit from a wide panorama over the entire undulating area of Luxembourg and beyond. It could be considered as a door from Luxembourg to France.
All the buildings are modular based on 150 cm modules and governed by a 600-cm construction framework. The structure of the rectangular buildings is made of steel. The structure of the Dexia tower is constituted of a central core in 6.50 m wide concrete (bringing together lifts, stairs, and sanitary facilities) and a steel structure.
The steel structure allows wide spans and therefore creates clear spaces inside the building. The Cofrastra composite floor is supported by variable-inertia beams with spans of 15 metres. These have been designed especially for the project. Their height varies according to a curve (minimum height 42 cm).
The posts are of the mixed type (steel/concrete) in order to meet the target of fire resistance. These are prefabricated in factory because of their considerable height (three storeys). The concrete is poured on site and each tube is built into the two ends. The tower consists of 18 levels, 2 of which are dedicated to technical facilities.
The architectural intention for the façades is expressed by a composition of 'filled and empty' spaces. The project plays on contrast, alternating between the 'filled' façades and the glass façades depending on the orientation. The transparent surfaces are composed of box-frame windows and the opaque surfaces are covered with red enamelled steel panels. These enamelled-steel panels have an exceptional dimension of 1.5 metres.
The west-facing façade of the Dexia Tower is composed of a double-skin complex with a naturally ventilated air space. The plan form of this façade follows a serrated curve. A sun-shade blind is fixed onto the interior skin but is protected by the single glazing of the exterior skin.
Vasconi Associés Luxembourg, Jean Petit Associated Architect
- Engineering Firm:
Association Simon & Christiansen et Bollinger & Grohmann et Luxplan