Genk, Belgium


KU Leuven


Educational, Public, Research, Landscape


Built Area


In progress


Martens Van Caimere Architects, TECH3, Denkbar, BRiC

U/Define in collaboration with Martens Van Caimere Architects won the design competition to build a new test infrastructure for KU Leuven at Thor Park in Genk.

Flanders is facing a huge challenge. By 2030, the EU wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% and by 2050 Europe must be climate neutral. As a result, in less than 30 years, all Flemish buildings must become completely climate neutral. An ambitious plan, especially for Flanders, whose building stock is among the oldest and most energy-consuming in Europe. And time is running out.

To investigate new building materials, construction, renovation-methods and digital techniques with the aim to make it easier for them to find their way to the market, there is a need for an inspiring environment for multidisciplinary collaborations.

The building will have a modular design, with different arrangements alternating both in the building and in the façade approach. Different types of office spaces, residential units, but also different building envelope solutions such as green roofs, PV-integrated façade elements or robotic prefabricated building elements ensure that new techniques can be tested in different configurations. Aspects such as circularity, off-the-shelf applicability to facilitate quick renovations, renewable energy technologies, smart control of systems, good indoor air quality, reuse of rainwater and permeable surfaces and more are also covered in the building.