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Last edited 10 Jul 2018
Buildings of the EU
The European Commission is housed in the imposing modernist Berlaymont building in the European Quarter of Brussels (see image above).
The 14-storey building was designed by architect Lucien De Vestel and consists of a cruciform with four wings of unequal size projecting from a central core in the shape of a star. Each wing supports a 40 m high, narrow concrete ridge which holds steel beams to form the frame of the glass façade.
The building was completed in 1967, but the discovery of asbestos in the 1990s led to a large-scale refurbishment programme, during which the building was retrofitted to strict environment standards and external brises-soleil were added to regulate solar gain and glare.
Also located in Brussels' European Quarter, the Charlemagne building houses the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, the Directorate-General for Trade, and the Commission's Internal Audit Service.
The Charlemagne building was designed by Jacques Cuisinier and constructed in 1967 concurrently with the Berlaymont Building to bring together the scattered departments of the European Commission. A major renovation was completed in 1998 by Helmut Jahn, replacing the largely concrete exterior with glass.
The Paul-Henri Spaak building is the permanent home of the European Parliament. Located in Brussels, the 17-storey post-modern building contains a hemicycle debating chamber and is notable for its cylinder-shaped barrel-vault inspired by Joseph Paxton's 19th century Crystal Palace.
The Louise Weiss building is the seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where they must convene for twelve sessions a year, meaning that the building is only used for 48 days a year. Completed in 1999, the building was designed by the Parisian firm Architecture-Studio. It includes a 60 m high tower and was inspired by Roman amphitheatres and the mythical Tower of Babel.
 European Court of Justice
Located in Luxembourg, and designed by architect Dominique Perrault, the European Court of Justice accommodates more than 2,000 judges, clerks and translators in 150,000 sq. m of accommodation. Its 100 m towers are the tallest in Luxembourg, and have distinctive gold-tinted aluminium mesh exteriors.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building of the week series.
- City Hall, London.
- EU Referendum - Environmental and climate change consequences for the built environment.
- European Union Procurement Directives.
- European Union Timber Regulation.
- European Union.
- General Post Office, Dublin.
- Official Journal of the European Union.
- Palace of Westminster.
- Reichstag building.
- SIS Building.
- The Gherkin.
- The Kremlin.
- The White House.
- UK construction industry.
- United Kingdom.
- US Capitol Building.
- US Embassy hotel plans.
- What does Brexit mean for construction?
 External references
- Building Design - An architectural guide
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