We all know that the developing countries write their future starting from a blank slate, unlike European cities who face the challenge of modifying their pre-built heritage and monuments considering to secure their energy, social and economic transition towards post-carbon, circular and interdependent urban living along.
We are here with long-lasting and futuristic view in our project Tour et Taxis to emphasize the uses, technological progress, social innovation, and sustainable building principles.
Most folks don’t know that nowadays architecture is capable of implementing a mutual balance between a piece of architectural heritage and industrial technology. The later can provide the necessary, efficient energy to the former by integrating renewable energies, thus limiting carbon emissions to the maximum extent.
GARE MARITIME is expected to be an energy-plus building generating 186% of its annual needs with renewables
Tour et Taxis was built between 1902 and 1907; it used to be a large customs clearance and storage complex in the 20th century, situated at the river, road and railway gates of Brussels, Belgium.
It has covered approximately 40 hectares of former wetlands quite swampy. This is an industrial park and a famous worldwide symbol of industrialization’s golden age. It is quite a good masterpiece for its engineering, ironwork, stonework and natural light.
Unfortunately, It has lost its usage with the progressive transforming of Europe’s custom borders, but the neighborhood of Tour et Taxis is currently undergoing a major positive transformation, and hence it is once again in the situation of becoming an important platform for the socio-economic and cultural development of Brussels, bringing in hope for well-being and community.
The warehouses and sheds have been repurposed with industries sustainability and the knowledge economy in mind along, with a dedication to energy saving and the reuse of renewable energies over time.
The foremost goal is to create a sincerely mixed eco-neighborhood where one feels pleasure to sustain life, to work, and to play. The three principles around which Vincent Callebaut’s Tour et Taxis stands are: providing vitality to pre-built heritage, enhancing sustainable communities, and safeguarding water.
Tour et Taxis emphasizes vertical vegetation and water, urban farming, …
The project presented here is emphasizing on the “transmutations” of the Marine Terminal into 50,000 square meters of mixed-use space composed of professional activities like offices and workshops and retail activities like markets, showrooms, shops and public amenities as well.
The transformation of THE GARE MARITIME
The Gare Maritime is a uniquely large and majestic architecture, and is divided into five parallel irons, cast iron and glass “vessels.” These days, it is one of the largest terminals in Europe, with a floor overall area of 40,000 square meters.
In particular: The energy system is impressive due to its versatility and size. The waterproof and airtight façades realize a high thermal inertia meaning lower heat losses. Earth-to-air heat exchanger and other geothermal stations, the use of evapotranspiration, biomass cogeneration, 88 vertical axis wind turbines, altogether generating 67,76 MWh per year, and a solar and heat energy roof with a size of 18,000 square meters, which provides 2,160 MWh per year, are an uncommon huge mix of renewables. But that’s not all. A southern silicon cell façade with a size of 9,600 square meters provides further 576 MWh yearly. In the end, the GARE MARITIME is expected to be an energy-plus building generating 186% of its annual needs. The 86% excess energy, which can be supplied in real time, are available for adjacent buildings.
Vincent Callebaut’s Tour et Taxis concept composes of bringing the new public park and the canal inside the Gare Maritime with the sole purpose of creating a genuine BIOCAMPUS, where it feels good to work and relax. It also emphasizes on vertical vegetation and water, urban farming, and various functional spaces, forming cascades of exotic and endemic plants.