The Square Mile in Belval is an extremely dynamic development area in Luxembourg. It is a project which forms part of the master plan that Jo Coenen set out for this new town.
Due to the dramatic changes in the nature of the industrial landscape of Luxembourg during the 1990s (transformation from coal to electricity as base for the steel production with the last furnace being put out of commission in 1997) it became a necessity to find other uses for the industrial wasteland in the south of the country. This area covers more than 500 hectares in Luxembourg itself (the rest is situated in France). This development provides outstanding opportunities for economic growth in Luxembourg.
By means of the astute establishment of a university, offices, homes and businesses set in a top quality rural location extremely attractive housing and living conditions have been established.
VAN AKEN were given the task to create a building block of 24,000 m2 for offices, commercial spaces, apartments and service apartments. The block has been developed as a total engineered concept based on ‘green’ principles, that is to say that all decisions related to the development were based on the concept of being sustainable. Architecturally the design supports and facilitates an excellent energy performance, a flexible but environmentally friendly arranging of the individual parts and the feel good factor. In addition it has been ensured that the building maintains competitive.
The extra effort put into this ‘green’ concept has in fact resulted in a design with potential in the future for what is a extremely dynamic area. As a result of the economic crisis the project was suspended in 2009, while in the implementation phase.