Administrative architectures

Luxemburgo. Luxembourg.

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Refurbishment of the Mansfield building, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs


Description Technical file

The refurbishment of the Mansfeld building in Luxembourg essentially consists of a contemporary reinterpretation without mimicry or rupture, pursuing the spatial and architectural quest for physical and historical continuity.

The Mansfeld is the oldest administrative building in the city of Luxembourg since it assumed a public function in the 16th century. In representation of the Spanish king Felipe II, Pierre-Ernest de Mansfeld was the first governor and from this building governed the Duchy of Luxembourg. In 1565 it was transformed into the governor’s residence. The primitive nucleus of the Mansfeld building is constituted by the Maison Greisch, built in 1545 and substantially conserved over the centuries, enlarged in the early 17th century and later transformed and repaired on numerous occasions to meet the specific demands and standards required in each era. In 1886 the State architect Charles Arendt added a new, larger building facing the existing constructions, attaching it to the external façade of the Governors’ Palace, giving the complex its archetypal image and endowing it with a new representative façade facing a wide plaza, created through the demolition of other secondary buildings. Finally, in 2009, the Government entrusted the Fonds de renovation de la Vieille Ville with the management of the old Courthouse refurbishment to adapt it to the new requirements and functions of the Ministère des Affaires extrangères et europèennes.

The project involves a comprehensive and clarifying intervention that affects the entire building, preserving its heritage values and seeking to give internal consistency to the entire built complex with the aim of implementing a new architecture that would find its foundations in the experience of the existing architecture.

The most significant interventions were carried out on the main foyer and in the space under the roof, as well as in adding a new piece opening on to the garden. The intervention in the foyer seeks to recover the historic Renaissance façade of the Maison Greisch. This intervention, which entailed the demolition of part of the forgings of the first and second storeys to give rise to a triple-height space facing the historic façade, led to transforming the original foyer, a flat, cramped, dark space lacking in height, into a truly welcoming reception hall. A new, fluid and continuous space that runs vertically along the three levels, bringing in air and light, opening up new perspectives, giving the complex the appropriate scale for its new purpose and opening up to the archaeological façade, now revealed in its full height and extension. The sequence of the successive wooden frames and other attached structures shape an intense, intertwined universe, an unexplored territory with extraordinary architectural potential.

As well as recovering this space under the roof as a useful space for the building, other complementary surfaces have been incorporated without affecting the building’s external appearance, excavating new volumes in the rocky subsoil, integrating an intermediate level under the roof or building the new polyvalent room at the level of the back garden, in the manner of a great hall open to the leafy linden trees that overlook the distant horizon of the Kirchberg platform.

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Localización Location: Luxemburgo. Luxembourg. Arquitectura, diseño y dirección de obra Architecture, design and site management: Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra. Estudio local, proyecto y dirección de obra Local study, project and site management: a+t architecture, Kaell architecte. Colaboradores concurso Tender collaborators: Kristian Solaun (coordinador), Davide Olivieri, Elena Vilches, Joanna Ejsmont, Filippo Pambianco, Lucia Tinghi, Diego Polese, Claudio Delmonte, Víctor Jiménez, Asia Jedrus, Juan José Baena y Elena Laredo. Colaboradores proyecto Project collaborators: Agnes Wesolowski, Kristian Solaun (coordinadores), Elena Vilches, Virginie Cabau, Martina Iridio, Davide Fuser, Pepita Lenz, Chiara Valeriani, Alvaro Luna, Jana Walter, Raquel Ruiz. Colaboradores dirección de obra Site management collaborators: Bastian Dannhauer, Axel Nemenz (estudio local), Agnes Wesolowski (coordinadora), Marcos Vázquez Consuegra, Elena Vilches, Virginie Cabau, Davide Fuser (estudio Sevilla). Project Manager Project Manager: INCA ingénieurs associés: Walter De Toffol, Mauro Doro. Estructuras Structures: HLG / Schroeder & Associés. Instalaciones Facilities: Bevilacqua, Jean Schmit Engineering. Análisis Histórico e Investigaciones Arqueológicas Historical Analysis and Archaeological Research: Isabelle Yegles, HLG. Control en materia de patrimonio Heritage oversight: Service des sites et monuments nationaux. Maquetas Models: Estudio Vázquez Consuegra. Promotor Developer: Fonds de Rénovation de la Vieille Ville, Luxembourg, Administration des Bâtiments Publics, Luxembourg. Superficie parcela Site area: 7.765m2. Superficie útil Usable surface: 5.633m2. Volumen construido Built volume: 33.800m3. Concurso Competition: 2010. Redacción proyecto Project Draft: 2012. Fecha inicio y finalización de la obra Start and completion date of the works: 2013-2017. Fotografía Photography: Duccio Malagamba.
Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra
Duccio Malagamba