Working in a dynamic district
Since the 1990s, the Kirchberg has been one of the main centres in Luxembourg as a financial base. With the rise of the digital economy, companies and businesses located on the Kirchberg plateau are in the process of diversifying.
In Luxembourg, banks traditionally located in the Boulevard Royal, running along the site of the ancient outer ditch of the stronghold which was dismantled in the second half of the 19th century. Following the boom in banking business in Luxembourg from the 1980s onward, Boulevard Royal rapidly became too cramped to accommodate the international banks who wanted to locate there. It is the Kiem district, on the Kirchberg, which was to pick up the baton for this activity and become the district of choice for banks on the Plateau, followed by the Grünewald district at the start of the 2000s.
The redevelopment of the old Bricherhof interchange as a traffic-light controlled junction permitted the levelling of the sites bordering the northern side of Avenue J. F. Kennedy. The Fund has thus recovered plots capable of being built on, enabling the continuation of the regular built frontage along the avenue.
Thus the Arendt law firm located on the Kirchberg in 2015. The architectural design for the “Arendt House” (Diener & Diener architects), with its extended form – the façade on Avenue John F. Kennedy is 160 m in length – follows the shape of the narrow strip of land between Avenue Kennedy and the property boundary of the buildings on Rue Jean Monnet. Anthracite in colour, the length of the façade is configured as sub-groups which constitute “urban sequences” from the pedestrian’s perspective. The built area is 17,700 m2, of which 2,300 m2 is intended for rent.
Located at the corner of Avenue John F. Kennedy and Boulevard Konrad Adenauer, the headquarters of KPMG Luxembourg has an architecture which is notable for a load-bearing façade in Corten steel, formed using X-shaped elements. As a second skin, there is a curtain wall comprising triple-glazed frames, set back 50 cm from the load-bearing elements (Valentiny Architectes architects’ office). Offering great flexibility in how the space is used, the building includes a large full-height central atrium, an entrance hall of around 340 m2, five floors of offices, one basement level partially lit with natural light, and three underground car parking levels. The built area is 17,900 m2. KPMG occupies 14,000 m2, with 3,000 m2 being destined for renting. The building was officially opened in early 2015.
Opposite Deutsche Bank and KPMG Luxembourg, to the right of the infilling of the old Bricherhof interchange, the new library now brings together on a single site all the depositories and services of the National Library of Luxembourg (BNL, Photo: Marc Theis), which were previously scattered across six different sites. The groundbreaking ceremony for this all-new building was held in June 2014. After five years of construction and four months of planned moves for over 40 km of documents, the new BNL opened its doors to the public on 1st October 2019.
Further to the west, the headquarters of Ernst & Young (architects: Sauerbruch & Hutton) forms an “H”-shaped footprint on the ground, and on its main façade to Avenue John F. Kennedy it is characterised by an extensive plaza that is splayed towards the road and covered by a translucent central roof. This atrium shelters the terraces of two restaurants located on the ground floor. The built area is 20,300 m2. The building was officially opened in early 2016.