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  • Writer's pictureESWA

Ghent Diamond Building

Ghent Diamond building, a "jewel of an office space" thanks to single-ply waterproofing solutions.

Unique, with a strong design and sustainability. The Diamond building in Ghent possesses not only the magnificence, but also the shape, of an enormous diamond.

Surfaces with different slopes, most steep and prone to a high wind load: this was the challenge for waterproofing the roof. A wonderful complexity made possible by single-ply waterproofing solutions.

Comfortable, accessible and sustainably developed office spaces in the city centre of Ghent, Belgium. This was the challenge in designing the Ghent Diamond, a building that overlooks the Ghent-Sint-Pieters railway station. The single-ply waterproofing products produces by ESWA members provided the perfect solution for waterproofing this enormous diamond, made up - as the name suggests - of many facets, with great heights and slopes up to 47°.

The beauty of the Gothic buildings of Ghent, the tradition of lace making, not to mention diamond cutting. All these influences are behind the architectural concept of the Ghent Diamond, designed by New York’s Asymptote architectural agency, famous for always pursuing extreme and experimental challenges. The decoration that envelopes the base of the building sweeps from solidity to transparency, from intricate relief patterns facing the street to a more subtle and smoother expression along the side of the square. The segments of pitched roof that connect the glass facade have been covered with an attractive external finish to create an effect of light, shadow and reflection. Inspired by the past, the Ghent Diamond is an urban response to the surrounding context that offers a new design language ready to face the challenges of the future.

Insulating panels with tongue and groove joints were installed on the upper part of the steel structure. This guarantees a strong, smooth and all round construction. High wind load and shear forces were decisive in choosing the waterproofing membrane to be used. The architects of the Asymptote agency opted for the flexibility, lightness and durability of single-ply waterproofing membranes.

In addition to the architectural aspect, the Ghent Diamond is also an important ecological resource. The building was entirely built in keeping with the BREEAM label, regarding energy efficiency and sustainability. In fact, the whole project focused on lower energy consumption, lower C02 emissions and greater thermal comfort.

Project participants

Owner: Global Estate Group & Life Tree Group Lead Architect: Asymptote Architecture, New York, NY

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