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Fosters and Koolhaas in battle for all-steel ArcelorMittal HQ

Luxembourg kirchberg image by manis404
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Foster + Partners and Rem Koolhaas are among the last three in the contest to design a new headquarters for global steel giant ArcelorMittal in Kirchberg, Luxembourg

They are joined by Paris-based Wilmotte & Associés in the prestigious invitation-only competition to create a ‘showpiece for the use of steel  in sustainable construction’ for the Luxembourg-based multinational.

Big-name practices who didn’t make it to the final phase included Bernard Tschumi Architects, Massimiliano Fuksas Architecture and Rafael Viñoly Architects.

The landmark scheme will be built on a prominent 7,273m² site currently used as a car park on Kirchberg’s main thoroughfare, Avenue JF Kennedy, between Rue Galileo Galilei and Rue du Fort Thüngen.

According to the contest organisers. the project ‘confirms ArcelorMittal’s commitment to maintaining its presence in Luxembourg, while also taking the opportunity to ensure its employees enjoy a state-of-the-art working environment, and demonstrating the environmental advantages of using steel in construction’.

The brief called for steel to be used ‘for both the building’s internal structure and external façades’. A winner is expected to be announced in September.

Site plan

Site plan

Site plan

Located on a plateau north-east of the city centre, Kirchberg is the principal business district of the capital city. Nearby landmarks include Dominique Perrault’s £260 million European Court of Justice, Ingenhoven Architects’ European Investment Bank and the Philharmonie Luxembourg Christian de Portzamparc.

Last summer Alejandro Zaera-Polo’s practice AZPML won a design contest for a new affordable housing scheme in Kirchberg. AZPML’s winning scheme will deliver three residential blocks on Boulevard Konrad Adenauer designed to the highest passive standards and featuring grey brick cladding.

The longlist

  • Bernard Tschumi Architects
  • Foster + Partners
  • JSWD Architekten
  • Massimiliano Fuksas Architecture
  • Rafael Viñoly Architects
  • OMA
  • Von Gerkan, Marg and Partners
  • Wilmotte & Associés


Aditya Mittal, chief executive, ArcelorMittal Europe
The review board had a difficult task in choosing among the extremely original and high-quality proposals submitted. Now we are entering the second phase of this consultation, which is moving forward as planned. I eagerly await the proposals of the finalist firms, and I am sure that this new headquarters will be a model building that will demonstrate all that steel has to offer to architects, engineers, land developers and building owners who are looking for the most efficient and creative construction solutions.

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