Friday Fun with the European Investment Bank

Want to know what  13,000 square-metres of glass roof looks like, and what working under a glass dome would feel like?

It looks like the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, and I’m pretty sure it would feel absolutely inspiring. The impressive architecture of the European Investment Bank uses a layered façade to achieve a sustainable, ergonomically sound and downright stunning building.

eib4_EDGE Architectural

Designed by Ingenhoven Architects and completed in 2008, the European Investment Bank utilises the design opportunities that a glass façade can provide. The outer casing of the building is 170 metres long and displays a repetitive triangular pattern across the roof, dispersing the visual plane. The next ‘layer’ of the building is a winter garden. Winter gardens are certainly a popular trend at the moment in the design community. This project is a classic example of why they have become so popular, and let me tell you, it’s not just because they look cool. The winter garden runs the perimeter of the inner shell of this building. In doing so it effectively acts as a buffer to external temperatures. This internal void space between the façade and the interior structure effectively minimises the transfer of temperature from outside to inside. The winter garden also provides a visually impressive circulation space that sure leaves a traditional plasterboard corridor for dead. On a sunny day the patterns from the external glass façade magically print across the interior walls and floor.


The inner shell of the building, is the final layer in this design. This inner shell could be a standalone building in its own right with its own impressive glazing design. At capacity the building will hold 750 employees. Operable windows at each work station allow every individual control the temperature of their work space. The winter garden’s moderation of the interior temperature means that artificial heating and cooling are not required. Sustainable temperature control is achieved with the operable windows on the inner shell.

eib5_EDGE Architectural

This is a really interesting project where the building’s glass façade not only looks amazing, it actually allows the building to work for the people who use it. The European Investment Bank is a move away from traditional office building architecture, where small windows and no ventilation are common. This project embraces the advantages of thoughtful and creative applications of glass, something here at EDGE Architectural, we are always willing to applaud.

Image source: Architonic