Discover Benelux, Issue 33, September 2016

Page 10

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture & Design

Hotel de Police.

Maison de Quartier Saint-Antoine (Forest, Brussels).

Energy saving house.

Eco-friendly architects paving the way for innovation TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS | PHOTOS: FP ARCHITECTURE

Founded in 1999 by partners Stéphane Faidherbe and Luis Miguel Pinto Gonçalves, FP Architecture is recognised as an innovative, clientfocused firm renowned for its roster of eco-friendly projects. The full-service practice offers clients assistance from a project’s conception, down to the technical aspects, and the execution stage. FP Architecture’s work focuses primarily on impressive large-scale public projects, as well as private-client work. “In the early 2000s we took part in international and European competitions, and won our first public projects,” says Faidherbe. The firm has handled projects of varying sizes, including residential developments, tertiary buildings (offices, shops, hospitals), sports facilities, and educational and cultural centres, as well as individual houses. The firm consists of two partners, Faidherbe and Pinto Gonçalves, and three other architects. Their ethos, explains Faidherbe, is to create architecture that best meets us10 | Issue 33 | September 2016

ers’ needs. “We pay particular attention to the people using the space.” FP Architects also stands out for its eco-friendly designs. A key consideration is that the buildings are very low on energy consumption, and that the designs are respectful of the environment. Sites are researched meticulously, as are the materials used. While the bulk of FP Architecture’s work is in Brussels and Wallonia, the firm has realised projects in France and is currently working on a project in Western France. In 2006 the firm was shortlisted by the French Ministry of Culture for the Album des Jeunes Architectes et Paysagistes, a European competition recognising architects and landscapists under age 35. Faidherbe is most proud of recently completed project the Maison de Quartier Saint-Antoine in the Brussels district of Forest. The Maison is a social support group providing help for parents, including activities for children. “We’re particularly proud of this project because it blends in with the urban landscape, with its

gilded design. It responds entirely to its social status in an area which has many challenges, and meets the highest energyperformance demands.” Other notable projects include a cultural centre for the commune of Beauvechain in the Belgian region of Walloon Brabant, built in 2014; the building is recognised as a standout work of eco-renovation. In Ittre, also in Walloon Brabant, the firm is working on a sports centre that it hopes will rejuvenate the entire region. Currently the firm is working on a highly anticipated police headquarters for the city of Ans in the Liegeois region.

Multi-purpose sports centre.