Project Description

Victoria Regina building

The Victoria Regina building was built between 1974 and 1978 as office space for IBM. The recognisable façade design clearly shows this history. The building is located in the Northern Quarter of Brussels next to the botanical gardens.

The current owner wants to renovate the building keeping the old building structure and fitting it with a 21st century-proof façade and mixed-use. Part of the renovation is the addition of a roof top bar with an outdoor seating area. Also several new entrances on ground level will make a connection to the public outdoor space.

Both the new façade, the roof top outdoor seating area and the entrances will be influenced by wind. In the first case it is wind loading that is of interest. For the outdoor spaces it is the level of wind comfort. Both questions desired a different approach.

The Victoria Regina building was built between 1974 and 1978 as office space for IBM. The recognisable façade design clearly shows this history. The building is located in the Northern Quarter of Brussels next to the botanical gardens.

The current owner wants to renovate the building keeping the old building structure and fitting it with a 21st century-proof façade and mixed-use. Part of the renovation is the addition of a roof top bar with an outdoor seating area. Also several new entrances on ground level will make a connection to the public outdoor space.

Both the new façade, the roof top outdoor seating area and the entrances will be influenced by wind. In the first case it is wind loading that is of interest. For the outdoor spaces it is the level of wind comfort. Both questions desired a different approach.

Wind loading needs to be determined in a wind tunnel according to the corresponding standards. Actiflow was asked to perform these wind tunnel experiments. In this case a 1:250 scaled model of the building and the surrounding area was fitted with a total of 161 pressure taps to determine the pressures for 36 10⁰ increment wind directions.

Secondly Actiflow performed a set of CFD-simulations to determine the level of wind comfort. In this case a computer model was used as the level of detail required can’t be modelled accurately in a scaled wind tunnel model. CFD-models can have any level of detail as is required by the user.

The outcome of the study was used by the client to determine the structural strength of the façade elements. Secondly the recommendations by Actiflow were used to optimize the design in favour of wind comfort.