Holy Grail! - the Résidence Palace is a complex of buildings between the Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat and the Chaussée d'Etterbeek/Etterbeeksesteenweg in the European Quarter of Brussels (Belgium). It is formed of three buildings, a press centre and a building currently being renovated (estimated completion: 2014) for use by the European Council, mainly, and even also (for some occasions) by the Council of the European Union as a summit building. This new building will be named Europa.
German newspaper Bild writes "Der Turmbau zu Brüssel" in relation to the building of the tower of Babel. http://www.bild.de/politik/ausland/euro-krise/aber-eu-chef-baut-sich-palast-20508414.bild.html
"David Cameron seized on an opportunity to voice "immense frustration" at the lavish spending of the Brussels elite after being handed a glossy brochure promoting the European council's soon to be finished €300m (£270m) headquarters.
The brochure was distributed to EU leaders as they sat down to dinner at a Brussels summit on Thursday evening, with Europe facing one of the gravest crises in memory amid predictions of the breakdown of Greece and the potential death of the euro single currency.
Herman Van Rompuy of Belgium, the European council president, opened the dinner by passing round the booklet. A lavish, eco-friendly glass and steel construction which will function as a glowing lantern after dark, the Europa Building will house Van Rompuy's offices and will be the venue for the summits after its completion in 2014.
With the EU ordering Greece to cut billions in public spending and undertake a €50bn privatisation round, while itself struggling to generate a €100bn bailout fund to save the country, Van Rompuy's brochure met with strong criticism. "The prime minister didn't think this was very well-judged," said a Downing Street source. "Taxpayers won't thank us for reminding them how much it costs."
The Downing Street entourage ensured that the pictures were made available to the British media, amid expressions of outrage from government sources.
At the press conference after attending his seventh EU summit, Cameron said: "I'm a practical, positive person. But when you see a document being circulated with a great glossy brochure about some great new building for the European council to sit in, it is immensely frustrating.
"You do wonder whether these institutions actually get what every country, what every member of the public, is having to go through as we cut budgets and try to make our finances add up."
Following the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, the Treaty of Nice declaration that all European Council meetings would be held in Brussels, and the creation of a permanent President of the European Council, the European Council and the Council of the European Union (the Council) needed more office space and meeting rooms for the Council's bi-weekly meetings and the four European Council summits each year.
The project is the work of Philippe Samyn & Partners – Studio Valle Progetttazioni – Buro Happold, architects and engineers. This joint venture was winner of a European competition in
Officially the round structure inside the "cube" is sold as an urn or a lantern that glows in the dark:
According to urban planning regulations, the building is extended on the North-East side by two new facades to transform its current "L" shape into a "cube". This outer area is converted into a glass atrium protecting from the urban dust. It covers the principal entrance as well as a new lantern-shaped volume incorporating the conference rooms.
The structure of this object is rigorously symmetrical although it does not appear so.
From the rue de la Loi the building will appear as a big cube with, on the façade, a patchwork in wood and crystalline glass. Through this façade, in the vast volume of the cube will be visible a sort of giant amphora in which are situated the conference halls. In sanded glass and lit up at night, it evokes a lantern placed within a box.
But if we look to the original paper of the designer he imagined a heart, the heart of Europe, as also the builing will have the name "Europe":
new scetches of the European heart
In "New Organic Architecture The Breaking Wave"
Author David Pearson writes:
" The new "free style" approach of organic architecture has been influenced by modern philosophy as expounded by such writers as Fritjof Capra, and scientific ideas as diverse as advanced astrophysics, chaos theory, and James Lovelock's Gaia theory (that describes the living Earth, "Gaia", as a self-regulating super organism).
Organic thinking can also be seen as part of the expression of the feminization of society (or re-balancing the feminine in Western society). This approach is not new. It is a very old tradition stretching back to times when feminine values were more prevalent. This way of thinking can be traced back to Earth Mother goddess cults and can be seen in the beautiful and flowing art and artefacts of the Anatolian, Minoan, Etruscan, and Ancient Greek cultures. There is a correlation too between straight line and rectangle, and angular, masculine design and mechanistic politics....
A separate strand of the organic tradition has its roots in the Germanic cultural tradition. Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian thinker, was so impressed with the studies of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe into morphology and the metamorphosis of plants and animals that he referred to Goethe as "the Galileo of the organic". This, together with Goethe's theory of colour, had a deep impact on Steiner's later life and his anthroposophic architectural theories. Steiner developed a special intuitive process he termed organischen Baugedanken (organic structural thoughts) to help comprehend the essence of an organic being....
Anthroposophic architecture has now grown into an international organic movement (perhaps one of the most coherent)...
"Green" or sustainable architecture is evolving fast, too, but there is a danger that, instead of being the vanguard of a new, holistic architecture, it will become engrossed in high-tech and energy-saving issues. Few eco-architecture projects go beyond these parameters to explore the deeper world of spiritual expression and organic form where the wonder and sensual beauty of the natural world are combined with essential practical needs of economy, efficiency, and conservation. What is now coming, as the Breaking Wave, is a new architecture that expresses the union of organic inspiration and truly sustainable design….
In modern architecture, geometry is manifest more in materials, structures, and new mathematics than in notions of proportion and symmetry. Some of the greatest 20th century champions of non-rectilinear organic forms have been engineering pioneers such as Max Berg, EugËne Freyssinet, Robert Maillart, Pier Luigi Nervi, FÈlix Candela, and Buckminster Fuller. …
Philippe Samyn has evolved "harmonic" double curved structures, using fractals, which are low-cost, lightweight, and easy to erect
In esoteric terms, curvilinear structures and forms are said to produce different subtle energy resonances. According to ecological designer and teacher Victor Papanek: "On a near-mystic level, various sensory and subconscious triggers released by such structures flood our minds with a sense of joy and wellbeing."
In the past, organic architecture has not always used the "greenest" materials. But this is changing and many more organic buildings are now being designed with an increased ecological awareness to incorporate low-energy, sustainable, and recycled materials and energy-saving systems.
We have come full circle to consider the future of organic architecture and design. In my first book The Natural House Book (revised as The Gaia Natural House Book), I proposed a Gaia Charter for design to satisfy the three themes of Health, Ecology, and Spirit. What is now needed is an integration of these themes with the philosophy and power of organic architecture.
The Gaia Charter for organic architecture and design
Let the design:
· be inspired by nature and be sustainable, healthy, conserving, and diverse
· unfold, like an organism, from the seed within
· exist in the "continuous present" and "begin again and again"
· follow the flows and be flexible and adaptable
· satisfy social, physical, and spiritual needs
· "grow out of the site" and be unique
· celebrate the spirit of youth, play, and surprise
· express the rhythm of music and the power of dance."
Back to the heart and some anthroposophical sources:
“In our time there are certain changes taking place in the heart, by which gradually a fifth chamber will develop. In this fifth chamber man will have a new organ which will allow him to control life forces in a different way than is possible at the moment.” “All that happens in the moral life, and all that happens physically in the world…the moral and the physical….are found in their real union when we learn to understand all the configurations of the human heart.” Rudolph Steiner
“The radiation from this etheric organ of the heart is
actually developing into a spiritual sense organ. A new
sense organ is developing in this etheric heart, and this
is the only organ by which man is able to sense and to
recognize the Etheric Christ”.
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer December 17, 1950