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Residence Palace Brussels, Belgium, Europe

The Résidence Palace, also known as the Europa Building will host the meetings of the European Council, the Council of the EU and other high level bodies. It will also provide offices for member state delegations and several General Secretariat services.

Nicknamed ‘the Egg’, the lantern type structure is surrounded by a unique glass atrium. The exterior facade consists of recycled windows from all over Europe. Each window will have a different shape, appearing united from afar but showing their diversity up close.

The innovative design retains the historical part of the long standing Residence Palace block A, and builds onto it. Two new glass walls transform the original L-shaped building into a cube. Inside the cube, a lantern-shaped space has been created, with elliptical floors varying in size. This lantern will be most visible from outside the building when lit.

CoxGomyl was assigned to produce a truly customised solution to maintain this complex facade. There were many challenges faced for a European Union Government building and high safety standards were of course paramount in this project with comprehensive risk analysis testing.

The Building Maintenance Unit supplied is an F type 5000 series machine that hangs from tracks installed on the roof structure. The BMU cleans the mid upper part of the egg or lantern whilst the bottom part is cleaned with an aerial work platform.

At the request of the architect, the Facade Access system that CoxGomyl designed and supplied was required to blend in aesthetically with the design of the building. Both safety standards and design were thoroughly considered and a machine was created that was designed specifically for the Europa building. Even the colour of the electrical wiring was chosen to match the system.

All movements of the BMU are programmed into the equipment, so a window washer simply selects from a touch screen for the position they want the BMU to move to. When descending the BMU uniquely turns angles to ensure the cradle always faces away from the facade.

Part of the specifications was to reproduce part of the Europa building to test the machine in the factory to ensure complete accuracy of the system.

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