aluminium sections


cast aluminium nodes


triangular panes of glass


façade area

european investment bank

EU enlargement necessitated larger headquarters for the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. In line with a design by the Ingenhoven architectural office, 750 new jobs were created in the immediate vicinity of existing buildings of the institution on the Kirchberg Plateau. The most eye-catching element of the investment bank is a 14,50sqm barrel vault that serves as an oversized main façade, rising above the zigzagging, meandering complex of buildings. Around 1,500t of vault load are transferred to the building in the longitudinal, vertical and diagonal directions via 320 hinged columns. In addition to the glazing of the enormous steel grid, the highlights of the structure include three cable façades that enclose the south-facing atria. 14 different façade types were used at the European Investment Bank, ten of them being from seele.

The steel grid of the barrel vault is subdivided into a static three-level hierarchy and rises up to 40m above the north-facing winter gardens. seele’s efforts began with the secondary structure, a steel tube in the form of triangles, which receives additional reinforcement from fins at the top and bottom. Mounted on the steel grid is an aluminium grid structure which further subdivides the triangular steel pattern for the roof glazing. A total of 18km of aluminium profiles, 3,344 cast aluminium nodes and 5,772 triangular glass panels of approximately 1.75m to 2m form the roof’s skin. The glass panes are fixed onto the aluminium structure with two point fittings on each edge, and the joints are sealed. The three atria on the south side of the building are spanned by steel girders (fish-bellied beams) up to 50m in length.

  • These beams support the roof system and anchor the steel cables of the atrium façades. With a weight of up to 60t, these beams represented a particular challenge in terms of assembly. The prefabricated support elements were welded together on-site and mounted using up to five mobile cranes. The 3cm-thick steel cables of the cable façade, which is suspended from the fish-bellied beam, are anchored on the ground floor with a tension force of up to 22t. The beam swivels in the bearing mounts which, in combination with the elasticity of the steel cables of the façade, allows movements of up to 60cm. Steel cables run through both the vertical and horizontal joints of the glass panels. The cables in the vertical joints bear the weight of the panes, while the horizontal cables stabilise the point fittings, preventing them from twisting and turning.
    Façades from seele have helped to ensure that the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg is the first building in continental Europe to be awarded a BREEAM “Excellent” certificate.

    Images: © Marcus Bredt


Client European Investment Bank EIB, Luxembourg (LU)
Architect Ingenhoven Architekten, Düsseldorf (DE)
Engineer Werner Sobek Ingenieure
Date of completion 2008
Scope of seele supply


  • approx. 13,000sqm main façade
  • three cable façades (approx. 2,350sqm)
  • approx. 4,000sqm double skinned façade
  • approx. 11,300sqm interior façades
  • further 6,850sqm smaller façades

Roof elements

  • total of 18km of aluminium profiles
  • 3,344 cast aluminium nodes
  • 5,772 triangular glass panels of approx. 1.75m to 2m


  • RIBA International Award 2009