A utility building with atmosphere

A utility building with atmosphere

Constance, Germany
Project Year

A utility building with atmosphere

Rockpanel as Manufacturers

A high degree of functionality and plenty of atmosphere – these two aspects leave their mark on the beach bar in Constance for the Seezeit Studentenwerk. The bar is primarily a utility building.

The rooms and the interior of the 60 m² building are arranged in such a way that rational operational management is guaranteed. On the other hand, the beach bar acts as a stylish and atmospheric location for rest and relaxation on Lake Constance. In order to optimally reconcile these two apparently incompatible components, the Constance firm of architects Lutz and Roos deliberately opted for an innovative industrial product; Rockpanel Natural. The ingenious working possibilities offered by the Rockpanel sheet were just what the architects needed to create the required atmosphere in the beach bar.

Play of light and shadow The material properties and qualities of Rockpanel Natural are decisive when it comes to the impression made by the beach bar. The hard-wearing, natural and unpainted building material leaves its mark on both the building’s appearance and atmosphere. The property’s striking characteristics include the complete cladding with Rockpanel panels in the frontage and the ceiling, but certainly also the ornaments that have been affixed loosely over the entire width of the facade.

One decisive factor in the design of the building was the desire for a subtle play of light and shadow to be created. This is brought about by the individual letters of the word Seezeit being moulded in the Rockpanel panels on the facade. The combination of filtering sunlight and shadows creates a special atmosphere. A major plus point in this process is the fact that the Rockpanel building material enables openings to be moulded simply without the building’s structure being weakened. The ornaments in the outer wall panels are drawn by CAD and accurately cut out by means of CNC milling work.

Visible ageing was wanted In addition to this play of light and shadow, the whole appearance of the building plays a decisive role in the atmospheric effect. Rockpanel Natural won over the architects chiefly on account of one of its properties: the capacity to change under the effects of the weather: the fresh yellow-green colour scheme which turns into a velvety, slightly sparkling brownish red surface over time. The effect is similar to the way wood takes on a patina under the effects of the weather.

Several functions The theme of light and shadow is carried through in the entire construction concept. Thanks to a special structure inside the cube-shaped beach bar, some Rockpanel elements in the facade are sprung open to turn into roofs. Like the facade, these roofs have several functions. On the one hand they provide for welcome shade, and on the other hand the cut-out ornaments and the sunlight filtering in create flecks on the bar’s terrace, which give added atmosphere.

An illuminating cube by night The play of light and shadow and the different times of day to a large degree determine the atmosphere and the residential character of the beach bar. Outside and inside; at night, with artificial lighting, the situation is reversed and the bar lights up, as it were, from the inside out. This light also affords the beach bar a surprising spaciousness. The result at night is an illuminating cube, which reflects in the waters of Lake Constance.

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