1991年，在城市建设热潮席卷全球的氛围中，法国AS建筑工作室遇到了一个极为重大的竞赛项目——欧洲议会大厦。九十年代的建筑风格多样交织，工作室希望打破当时千篇一律的 “直线建筑” ，面对近22万平方米的项目，建筑师们从场地与文脉背景出发，思考使用者与建筑及地区特征的联结。
In 1991, the urban construction boom sweeping the world, architecturestudio encountered a significant competition project — the European Parliament building. Back in the 90s, the architectural styles were diverse, our architects tried to break the stereotypical “linear architecture” and started from the site and context： How should they consider the connection between the user and the building and the regional character for a nearly 220,000 square meters project?
▼室外鸟瞰，exterior aerial view © Roger Rothan
The project is in Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France, the largest border city in France and is close to the German town of Kehl. After World War II, Strasbourg naturally became a symbolic city with its history and culture that several changes of sovereignty and significant traffic fortified town. A symbol of reconciliation for a new European institution. As the world’s largest Parliament, the European Parliament building took four and a half years with a total investment of 470 million euros. The building was also named Louise Weiss Building, in honor of this famous French writer and feminist, who was also a member of the first European Parliament.
▼总平面图，site plan © architecturestudio
The European Parliament is a transnational democratic authority, it is unrealistic if we try to combine the architectural styles of different countries in a single project. After the research of European history and site context, the studio finally used two keys: the circle representing classicism and the oval from the Baroque style. The two shapes show the transition from Galileo to Kepler, from monocentric to multicentric, and from centralization to a multipolar world.
▼过程图纸，process plan © architecturestudio
The two symbols shaped an artful connection in space. The round tower contains the offices of delegations at the center, and encircles an oval shape entrance atrium. The tower is about 60 meters high, and the seemingly unfinished design at the top represents the open-minded European Union. It echoes the historical heritage of the city center — Strasbourg Cathedral, forming a dialogue over time and space. The atrium is more like a transition between the city and the building, and the axis of the ellipse extends to the pedestrian bridge across the river, connecting the Winston Churchill Building on the opposite river bank.
▼圆形广场，agora © Gaston Bergeret
▼仰视圆形广场，upward view of the agora © Gaston Bergeret
Under the huge aluminum roof of the building, there are different-sized conference halls in different level. No matter where you go, you can see the huge wooden ball, which is the 750-seat Parliament Hall. Its elegant edge lines give the illusion of a circle rather than an ellipse, The both regular and irregular shape showed the transition from form to material, and fully displayed the core of classicism and the freedom of Baroque spirit.
▼议会大厅的蛋壳状巨大木球表皮，the huge wooden ball accomodate the Parliament Hall © Gaston Bergeret
▼室内概览，interior overview © Georges Fessy
The same geometric principle is reflected in the site design, where the master plan is formed by two back-to-back arcs. One is flat, facing the outside road, and filled with lawns and parking lots inside; another one is three-dimensional, align to the river bank and rising up, creating a fluent curved facade. The tower, dome, and arc formed a highly recognizable building with urban-scale in volume.
▼俯瞰建筑，top view of the building © Roger Rothan
The European Parliament Building carries out all the daily activities of the Parliament. Except the Parliament Hall, it also contains 18 meeting rooms with 50 to 350 seats, 1,133 offices for Members of Parliament and related groups, as well as a supporting research center and catering service center.
▼议会大厅概览，Hemicycle overall © Gaston Bergeret
▼坐席细部，detail of chairs © Georges Fessy
They have precise functions and independent streamlined paths, interacted but separated in the flowing system Besides, three main corridors in the building, the center one is a “winter greenhouse garden” with various plants while spreading a sense of nature as well as the river scenery outside.
▼室内中庭，interior atrium © Gaston Bergeret
▼室内中庭丰富的绿植，various plants in interior atrium © Georges Fessy
▼公共交流区，public space © Roger Rothan
Along the perfect curve of the river’s confluence, the large glazing curtain wall reveals the building’s internal structure. Its transparency conveyed architectural aesthetic, and a metaphor for political openness. The huge volume proved a strong symbolic status and recognition, as well as the power of the EU and democratic openness.
▼议会大厅屋顶，rooftop of the Hemicycle © Gaston Bergeret
▼立面，facade © Georges Fessy
▼平面图，floor plan © architecturestudio
▼剖面图，section plan © architecturestudio