The Finance Tower after renovations
|Renovated||2005 – 2008|
|Antenna spire||174 m (571 ft)|
|Roof||145 m (476 ft)|
|Floor area||220,000 m2 (2,400,000 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Hugo Van Kuyck, Marcel Lambrichs and Léon Stynen|
The Finance Tower (French: Tour des Finances, Dutch: Financietoren) is a skyscraper in the Northern Quarter central business district of Brussels, Belgium, designed by the architects Hugo Van Kuyck, Marcel Lambrichs and Léon Stynen. It is the second tallest building in Belgium, and has the most office space of any building in Belgium.
At the time of its construction, this skyscraper was the second tallest building in Belgium after the South Tower. The height of the building is 145 meters, and it has 36 floors.
The Finance Tower is situated to the crossroads of the boulevard of the botanical Garden (Boulevard du Jardin Botanique / Kruidtuinlaan) and the Royal Street (Rue Royale / Koningsstraat). It is served by many public transit systems, including the Botanique/Kruidtuin metro station and Brussels-Central and Brussels-North railway stations.
Right in front of the Finance Tower one finds this sculpture of two females embracing. In individualistic Belgian fashion, this is rather an evocative and erotically-themed sculpture. Of the two women is more classically feminine in appearance, the other looks more like a man, though one quickly sees she also female. The pose is enigmatic, with the shorter-haired woman firmly grasping the wrist of the longer-haired woman behind her back, almost wrestling her into submission, while both look away from each other despite being nude and intimate.
The Finance Tower is part of a wider body: the Administrative City of the State. One objective was to group together the administrations of the State in order to increase productivity and to reduce the functioning wastes. The site is preferred because of its ease of access, most notably with the proximity of central train station. On top of this, the works of the North-South connection made the neighbourhood lifeless, and it was necessary to recreate a liaison between the upper and lower city.
The tower is located on a site with a 13 metre difference between the highest and lowest altitudes. Producing the preliminary documents took nearly four years, from 1968 to 1972. Searches were performed down to a depth of 26 metres. The building of the foundations was made difficult by the presence of a water-logged clay terrain as well as by the tunnel of the North-South connection.
Budget restrictions slowed down the construction; work was practically paralysed from 1974 to 1978. The works resumed in 1978. Major work was finally finished in February 1981 but it was the end of 1983 before the tower at last opened its doors. Its external elevator core was intended to have had a marble facade, but this was scrapped because of the high cost.
The Finance Tower was involved in a large-scale renovation between January 1, 2005 and 2008. The plan comes about it back to the office of architects of Maurice Mottle, It involved replacing the old facade with a light blue and white curtain wall, removal of all asbestos, the dismantling of the external elevator core and the building of new elevators inside the building. The office space lost by this move is compensated for by a new 11-storey building constructed to the east of the tower. The renovated building provides office space for 4,600 workers, an increase from the 3,200 prior to renovation.
The antenna, which is mounted on top of the tower, serves the two Belgian national television stations and is used only for digital broadcast.