Iconic future-proof office building underway in Luxembourg

Tim Harrup

There is news of another major office building being constructed in Luxembourg. Besix RED, which is responsible for the new Ferrero headquarters building, has announced that construction of its new office project ‘Icône’, in Belval, has just started. And this is a building which believes in the established trend of collaborative working, rather than in social distancing. Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners architects and Luxembourg firm Beiler François Fritsch, this 17,300 m² office building, says Besix, fosters the spirit of exchange and co-creation, and redefines tertiary real estate. It features an atrium and various common areas and there will also be 1,500 m² of shops and restaurants.

Geoffroy Bertrand, Besix RED Country Director, Luxembourg, explains the thinking: ‘Developed as a collaborative building, focused on the user and their well-being, Icône is part of the New Way of Working. By relying on the agility of its surfaces, this new generation building has aroused the interest of several end users. The spaces have been designed to live and evolve according to the needs of the companies occupying them’.

Gabriel Uzgen, CEO of Besix RED goes on to say: ‘The design of Icône has been thought from the inside out, by first designing areas for informal exchanges, which recreate links and reconnect people. We then enclosed them in a transparent architecture that facilitates interaction and emphasizes light and the circulation of occupants. A design and interior layout that today even more meets the needs of post-Covid 19 tertiary users. What were only trends yesterday have accelerated to become the norm. If the COVID-19 pandemic is not the only driver of the transformation of the use of tertiary spaces, it will certainly be its accelerator. More than ever, the office will become a place of collaboration and exchange, and not just a place of individual production. Generalized by the current context, home-working has proven to be a valued complement to organization’s work norms that must be significantly considered by companies. This situation has also demonstrated the need to rethink offices in order to offer diversified spaces according to the tasks to be accomplished. The role of the office building is to create communication, to allow the diffusion of corporate culture. As such, it will become a real management tool that should be used in a collaborative manner to complement the home, which is perceived as an individual space allowing isolation for tasks that require more concentration.

Icône includes various user services: intelligent lifts, virtual reception, digital applications, intelligent energy management, sensors allowing the retrieval of data such as temperature, air quality, sound level, or the presence or absence of people in a given space...
The building is thus being developed with BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental certification and, depending on the needs of the occupant, will be part of the WELL Building Standard® certification process, which guarantees respect for the comfort of future users. Completion is expected at the end of 2023.