Project in Detail
Jaspers-Eyers Architects, Brussels, Belgium
The highest tower in the city of Gent
In the elbow of “The Loop” – formed by the E40, the exit road and Kortrijksesteenweg – rises the MG Tower, a 104 metre high office tower and straightaway the highest tower in the city of Gent.
The MG Tower forms the gateway beacon for the new development of “The Loop” in Gent, a totally new 145 hectare part of the city that combines offices, houses, retail, expo and recreation projects in dynamic and stimulating surroundings on the Expo site alongside the E40 motorway.
The tower will be constructed within the loop of the motorway exit road and is consequently set apart from the surrounding buildings and other developments of “The Loop”. Because of this geographical position, the MG Tower becomes a solitary element in the landscape, governed by the motorway and the exit road complex.
To emphasise this element, the MG Tower has been designed as one strong line with a base that is not a separate element, but is designed as a whole with the tower. This results in an extremely simple, but also powerful image. The form is almost iconic and consists of a solid, but slim shape with a very expressive form. To emphasise the verticality and slenderness of the tower, a diagonal cut has been made that divides the tower volume vertically into two parts. The right part reaches higher and at its base forms a single unit with the auditorium that is housed in the base. The left part is positioned like an overhang, suspended as it were from the right part.
The materials used for the tower are extremely simple. The solid parts are constructed from light grey granite. The glazed parts are constructed as “entire window units”, which are positioned as cleanly as possible in the solid parts. This choice of colours and materials reinforces the light, slim character of the MG Tower.
The MG Tower will be the highest tower in Gent and as such constitutes a new landmark for the city and its surroundings (“gateway function”). At this location the tower also constitutes a remarkably recognisable element that acts as a beacon alongside the motorway for the opening up of “The Loop” zone.
The MG Tower is intended solely for offices and has 24 floors. With the tip, where the technical rooms with ventilators for the office part, heating, cooling towers and a facade cleaning installation, the tower reaches a height of 104 metres. With this it will be the highest tower in the city of Gent. The total surface area of the building is 21,460 m².
Underneath the building there will be an underground car park with space for 430 cars and 150 bicycles. The underground parking is accessible for the less able and has sufficient parking spaces for persons with limited mobility. 800 people can work in the building. In the base at the foot of the MG Tower, the entrance with reception facilities, a company restaurant for 200 people and an auditorium are housed. The total surface area of the building is 21,460 m².
Access to the underground car park is only possible via the infrastructure already present and still to be created at “The Loop”. The building is strongly oriented around the public transport facilities that are provided for “The Loop”. Thus there will be an underpass. Traffic will therefore not have to go via the busy Kortrijksesteenweg, but will be guided via “The Loop” to the MG Tower. To keep the distance from the tram and bus stops as short as possible, a passenger bridge will be constructed over the E40 motorway exit road that connects with the public transport that arrives on “The Loop”. A lift is built into the passenger bridge which gives access to the less able.
Within the landscape, the “solitary” function of the tower is emphasised by allowing the surrounding terrain to encroach into the parking and other functions. The layouts of the garden areas will be created by landscape architects. Most of the landscaping will be laid above the roof of the underground parking. Plants will also be placed on the roofs at the ground floor and that of the fire station. In the area at the edge of the terrain as far as the service road and the motorway exit road channels will be created for drainage of the roadways and a plantation of wooded vegetation.
The water from the roof of the tower and the auditorium will be fed for reuse to a series of rainwater tanks with a total volume of 72,050 litres. In addition, a reserve supply from a 75,000 litre buffer tank will be provided.
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