The European Investment Bank in Luxembourg recently won first place in the Emilio Ambasz Prize for Green Architecture for International Buildings. Completed in 2008 and designed by Düsseldorf-based Ingenhoven Architects, the tubular glass building has been praised for its environmentally conscious and energy-efficient design as well as its office layout that promotes interaction and communication. The innovative office building flanked by winter and summer gardens also achieved a rating of “very good” under the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
The EIB headquarters is a 170 meter-long tubular glass and steel structure with a zigzagging non-hierarchical office layout that allows for flexibility in the offices as well as interaction between employees. The 72,500 sq meter building has enough office space and facilities for 750 employees and includes an indoor ‘warm’ atria, a cafeteria, restaurant, and a connection to nearby buildings.
As the entire building is covered in glass (13,000 sq meters), daylight easily enters the building from all angles and light suffuses the open-plan offices. Operable windows allow the employees to directly control their temperature and bring in natural ventilation. A winter garden acts as a thermal buffer on one side of the building, effectively eliminating the need for heating or air conditioning.