Asymptote Architecture

Asymptote Architecture

New York, NY


Gent Diamond ING HQ

Asymptote's ING bank headquarters now underconstruction in the historic Belgian city of Ghent, is a project that addresses both the city’s rich architectural heritage and its fine-grained urban context. The project's location on the site of former railyards adjacent to the distinctive Gent-Sint-Pieters station was critical to the design solution. The architectural concept was influenced by the beauty of Ghent’s revered gothic buildings and the region’s rich tradition of lace making as well as stone and diamond cutting. Building on this history, a conceptual process of carving the architectural massing resulted in a stone-like base supporting a multi-story crystalline volume above. The urban design guidelines called for an articulated solid tectonic form on the street side of the site while specifying glass façades with minimal articulation on the public plaza side.  As such, the enclosure wrapping the base of the building transitions from solidity to transparency, from intricate relief patterning facing the street to a more subtle and smooth expression facing the plaza. For the street elevation, a system of modular GFRC panels was designed using advanced computer scripting, creating a varied building envelope. On the interior, the ground level lobby functions as new public space, connecting both sides of the site while accommodating programs such auditorium, café and an exhibition space for ING's impressive art collection. Inspired by the past, the ING HQ architecture is a sensitive urban response to the surrounding context that puts forward a new architectural language for the Ghent of today and that of the future.

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Status: Under Construction
Location: Gent Belgium
Firm Role: Lead Design Architect