The Karl Köhler GmbH headquarters are located at the edge of the town of Besigheim, enframed by the Neckar River and fields that provide an unobstructed view towards the close-by stone gardens. These clearly defined landscape boundaries are in contrast to the heterogeneity of the company premises with their halls, the existing small administrative building and the material stocks which do not form a characteristic impression. Hence, the new building was not only to create the necessary additional space, but also to serve as the “calling card” of this construction company, and to embody and communicate its philosophy.
The pavilion-style new building – a sharp-edged fair-faced concrete cube – is characterised by its position, a clear language of forms, and its reduced materiality. Already from afar it defines the overall impression, and with its staged entrance breaking the rhythm of the facade, it creates an unequivocal access situation.
The building typology answers the desire of the builder to also create an exhibition and event surface complementing the required individual offices. While the staff offices are placed around the building periphery, offering a view into the surrounding green landscape, a central two-storey atrium constitutes the spatial centrepiece. It forms the core of the new building and the new centre of the entire premises. Here, events, training sessions and exhibitions take place, and the atrium is also a meeting point for the company staff, promoting communication and not least the team spirit.
Two interior armoured concrete cores whose surrounding walls are roughly pointed towards the adjacent rooms and smoothly faired inside constitute the infrastructural and static basis. Thanks to the completely pillar-free support system, the office separating walls could be made entirely of glass panels. Thus, the corridors get daylight and a connection to the surroundings.
The character of the building is created by this spatial concept, but also by reducing the materials used to concrete, natural stone and wood, crafted with perfect workmanship down to the last detail. Sharp edges and exceedingly small tolerances characterise the precise appearance of the facade.