The Greiner Company, a family based business founded 1922 in the small town Pleidelsheim nearby Lud-wigsburg, Germany, is known for its high quality chairs and seats and is selling products all over the world in the fields of beauty, healthcare and automotive – at its own brand or as supplier. With its well manufactured products and sustainable services the company is growing for years. The old headquarter with its small client-center and showroom couldn’t hold up with that progress any more. A new headquarter had to be build!
Originally located at the edge of the town, the company area with its production- and storage-halls was over-grown by the development of the town and is now part of the near city-centre. The site of the old, inconspi-cuous headquarter did not represent the company’s address very well.
The new office- and exhibition-building, by contrast, is located near the city-centre at the north-south cross-town link. Being on the chosen construction site, the old House of the company founder, later used as a tan-nery, had to be torn down. Therefore the location of the new headquarter also refers to the company’s history and benefits both, the identity of the company as well as the public space.
The surrounding of the site is characterized by several building-types, mixed with industry-, residential- and old agricultural-buildings. So how should a new building respond to that context and simultaneously transport some kind of corporate identity?
We decided jointly with the client to create a pure, reduced Shape that is inspired by the timeless qualities of classical modernism. The façade of building is worked in exposed concrete, giving the structure a modest but individual impact to that heterogenic place.
The cut out roof-terrace reduces the shape at the main-roads intersection so that the volume of the structure reacts sensible to the height of the surrounding buildings. At the intersection the building opens its exhibition-floor over the corner through big showcase-windows to the public - not primarily to catch new clients, but stimulating the public space.
The actual address, the entrance, is placed a little bit hidden to the east and reached over a small, clearly defined square, which is also used for parking. The square surface, worked in site-typical recycled cobbles-tones, is “washed around” the building, connecting the adjoining street- and sidewalk-surfaces and strengthen the idea of a sculptural and solitaire city structure.
Organized on four levels, the flexible and multifunctional exhibition-room and customer-center is reached on entry-level and can also be used for special events when needed. However, the headquarters representative “heart” is reached over the low entrance-room: A triple storied, open space reception-hall made out of exposed concrete walls with poured in lamps - hosting a sculptural spiral staircase.
It connects the upper floors with offices, conference-room, accounting-area and the roof-terrace. In Addition to the spiral staircase, the whole building is connected to an elevator and a necessary evacuation staircase, which provides a short internal connection for the staff and a shortcut to the nearby production-hall.