House of Materials Belval
Research building for life sciences and material sciences for the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology LIST
28, Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch-sur-Alzette
Open competition 2009, a 1st rank
Under construction since 2013, completion of building 2022, since then successive interior fitting-out of the usage units.
Laboratories P2-P3, partially heavy load and vibration-isolated, training laboratories, seminar halls, offices, retail
NIA 12.400 m2, GIA 18.900 m2
Client: Le Fonds Belval, Esch-sur-Alzette
Commission: general planning
Contact architects: WW+, Esch-sur-Alzette
Structural engineering, HVAC: Luxconsult, Luxembourg
Photos: Marcus Bredt, Berlin
Aerial photo: Apple Maps
Team: Sebastian Nordmeyer (PM), Anais Champeaux, Laura Casado Albo, Jenny Dittrich, Ninon Devis, Félix Huet, Mathias Wünsche
The "Maison des Matériaux" is part of the “Cité des Sciences”, a new district characterized by relics of a former steelworks. The aim was to create flexible areas that can be quickly adapted to changing uses of yet unknown users.
The L-shaped structure reacts to the prominent location at the head of the Place de l'Université by an emphasis of the corner and an entrance sequence consisting of a loggia and a two-storey foyer. The incisions on the upper floors mark the "Noyaux". These contain service and communication areas and are flanked by three "Unités" on each floor, that can be further subdivided as required.
A building depth of 20 meters, a load-bearing façade and load-bearing shafts allow for column-free open-plan laboratories and offices. The shafts have a basic installation and can easily be retrofitted for special laboratory uses.
Steel is still processed in the immediate vicinity. A warm-grey clinker with an industrial look, that responds to the location in terms of appearance and robustness, was chosen for the façade. The protruding heads of the block bond impose a strict measure on the facade, which is completed by precast concrete parts. The inlet air openings for the technical centers are integrated into the façade using filter masonry. Inside, oak wood on the walls and lively gneiss on the floors characterize the public areas.