Association Bureau A2M, Jaspers-Eyers Architects and Bureau d’Architecture Greish's (BAG) proposal for an “eco-neighborhood” in Liège, Belgium, has been unanimously selected by a jury in a competition to design a mixed-use real-estate project. Dubbed “Paradis Express,” the design incorporates offices, housing and local shops and will occupy a 35,000m2 site located along a future esplanade across from Guillemins station, and next to the new Finance Tower. The competition was held by Fedimmo, in consultation with the city of Liège and the Walloon Region.
The design team took a two-pronged approach to the project, focusing on providing urban green-space and harmony in the skyline of Liège. Recognizing the dramatic topography of Liège and variations in height among the existing skyline, the project aims to reconcile and celebrate the changes in elevation. As such, the green space located around and above the succession of buildings mimics the undulating hills and valleys of the Liège area. By restricting alignments and punctuating the collective of volumes, Paradis Express facilitates a connection with both the Finance Tower it adjoins and the Guillemins Train Station across from it.
Paradis Express will also join the many passive buildings planned or built in Belgium, having received a rating of “very good” with the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). With a focus on ventilation and cooling for the many office workers that occupy the building during the day, the building produces approximately 600 tonnes less of CO2 per year than a similar building that is not passive. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of sunlight, and the orientation of the buildings is such that almost all facades receive at least two hours of sunlight per day.
Planning is set to finish by 2017, and construction to begin after.