A renovated heritage site in Brussels, Belgium, necessitated expertise from Renson, with the supply of 1750 square metres of screening to ensure shading, temperature control and a healthy interior environment.
Part of the Brussels Tour and Taxis site, which used to be one of the world’s largest hubs for transporting goods by rail and waterways, Gare Maritime began life as a freight station in the 1900s. In 2015, the area was acquired by real estate company Extensa, with a plan to renovate the old buildings. The scheme included the transformation of the Gare Maritime station into a multifunctional complex with 30,000 m² of offices (10 separate new buildings) and 12,000 m² of retail and commercial space. The project was completed in June 2020.
Screening for “huge glass sections”
The renovation of the Gare Maritime building takes into account the unique view and the original building structure. With a steel support structure every 12 metres, the space between the structures comprises huge glass sections that provide natural light in the building. Screens were installed to prevent overheating in the summer. Extensa wanted screens that could span the windows in one piece to preserve the pleasant vista and limit costs. No other manufacturer was able to offer a solution, which is why Extensa approached Renson.
“We have gained much expertise when it comes to large screens,” confirms a spokesperson for Renson. “Thanks to our experience, we offered Extensa a solution that spans the windows with two screens, each six metres wide. Renson external solar screens were installed on the two 280-metre-long internal façades, involving a total of 1,750 m² of cloth.”
“Each façade has five modules of six screens each. The largest is six metres wide and six metres high and is mounted 13 metres above the ground. The size and height required tailor-made screens with, among other things, special motors and fabrics that can handle huge wind loads.” Renson’s Ambassador installation company Suncomfort installed the screens.
A healthy, comfortable indoor climate
Consideration of the ecological footprint was also essential in this project. “Both Extensa and Renson believe in natural solutions to create a healthy and comfortable indoor climate. The giant glass windows would allow the inside the building to warm up like a greenhouse if there was no sun protection. By choosing Renson sun protection fabric, sunlight is prevented from reaching the glass and heating up the interior. And this is not a needless luxury given the heatwaves of recent years!”