‘Multi ‘tower ' office building best in class

Didier Van Den Eynde

Early this month, during the ceremony unveiling the winners of ‘The Oscars’ for the real estate in Belgium, the ‘Multi ‘tower has been crowned with an award in the ‘Corporate real estate best development’ category. These awards are organised by the Real Estate Society (RES) gathering the former students graduated from the real estate division of the Antwerp Management School. The three winning projects were elected by a jury of key professionals of the Belgian Real Estate scene including the flemish master architect Erik Wieers and Brussels master Architect Kristiaan Borret.

'Multi’ (the former PhilipsTower) is a major piece of the jigsaw to transform the very centre of Brussels with its large pedestrian zone around the Stock Exchange and the Place de Brouckere. The architecture of the U-shaped building made up of two twin towers linked together by a common base is emblematic in the Brussels urban landscape.

‘Multi’ results from a large-scale reconversion project by developers Immobel and Whitewood to transform an old building dating from the 60’s into a contemporary office building. The developers entrusted Conix RDBM Architects and the construction company Cordeel to transform the building from a heavy, black box into a bright, transparent and inviting construction. This was achieved by offsetting the building against the existing plateaus. The facade was given extra depth with a structuring matte aluminium profile in combination with the non-reflective glass. The building absorbs its environment rather than reflecting it.

A building environment friendly

Immobel and Whitewood did set ambitious objectives in the face of the climate change emergency. ‘Multi’ is the first carbon neutral office building in Brussels. While heat pumps and solar panels provide some of the energy required for the building to function, the remainder is supplied by Total Energies through a green electricity purchasing contract. This electricity comes from the offshore wind farms clearly visible from Ostend. ‘Multi’ is exemplary regarding the ‘circular economy’ goal as the converted building is made of 89% recycled materials from other buildings. The building has obtained the BREEAM Excellent environmental certification.

In line with its sustainable development strategy, the TotalEnergies group has set up its Belgian headquarters in ‘Multi’. At the end of last year, 900 employees moved their offices from the European district to the historic city centre in the heart of the pedestrian zone. The Bpost group has also set up its head office in the Multi towers. Last april, 1,500 employees left the ‘Centre Monnaie’ located just opposite to move into brand new #offices. Immobel has also relocated in the building.