The 118.40-metre MG Tower – also known as the KBC Arteveldetoren – is the tallest building in Belgium outside Brussels, and forms the gateway to the new ‘Loop’ development in Ghent. ‘The Loop’ is a new city district that is scheduled to offer a range of new opportunities for working, living and leisure. The landmark MG Tower creates a strong identifiable image for the KBC Bank, the end users of the building and its owners. The floor plan of the 28-storey tower is based on a square, which allows for the efficient oraganisation of both the offices and training facilities.
The beam-shaped central part of the tower is sliced into two parts, the positions of which vary slightly. The elongated form of the right side of the tower ends in slim volume that contains the VIP reception areas on the 25th floor. The volume on the left is topped by a large accessible roof terrace, also on the 25thlevel next to the VIP reception area, and ends in a cantilever that faces the motorway. A 200-seat auditorium is contained in a building at the base of the tower. This volume forms a countermovement and acts as a strong base to the suspended left hand volume.
With its multiple semi-public functions in the base, and the more private functions at the top, the MTC Tower clearly meets the bank’s programme in a single, coherent gesture. At the same time, the building is firmly anchored in its immediate surroundings with distinct façades that face outwards in all directions.
The architecture feels timeless, an effect that has been created through meticulous stonework detailing and the subtle concealment of the technical installations within the lower courtyards and beneath the cantilever of the building. On top of the underground garage at ground level, a large garden, designed by the famous landscape architects Wirtz International, leads to the reception area. The 21,400-square-metre MG Tower provides office space for 1,200 people and includes parking spaces for 430 cars and 150 bikes.