NATO Headquarters

  • Location

    Brussels, Belgium

  • Client

    NATO Headquarters Project Office (HQPO)

  • Team

    Designed with SOM, London as Studio Head  / Senior Designer

  • Size

    220,000 m² (2,367,800 ft m²)

Arranged around a central agora, the design for the new NATO Headquarters building was inspired by the place of meeting in ancient Greece adjacent to the Acropolis; where all people were allowed a voice. The central agora space creates a common ground for formal and informal meetings and forms the central communication spine between all spaces.

The headquarters compound is a complex collection of office, conferencing and service facilities woven together to ensure both the smooth workings of the organisation and embracing the ideals of unity, connectivity and sustainability.  The wing-like profile of the buildings reinforces the ideas of consensus, fluidity and aspirations towards peace providing, on a more pragmatic level, a variety of floor plate sizes to accommodate the array of spatial needs for each the Member and Partner Nations.  The repetitive nature of the office wings provides the flexibility for additional wings to be added as future expansion.

Orientated with the main glazed facades to the north and south the undulating roofs protect the office spaces from low angle solar gains from the east and west, with the south facades equipped with sun shading devices to maximise natural light to all office spaces with reduced solar gain during the summer months.  The landscape design mimics the architectural lines and movement of the wings to weave the architecture into the site and provide naturally for key security features thus minimising the extent of traditional security fencing and bollards.