Free space in the hybrid: Black forest - commercial building in wood and concrete
With a commercial building in Freudenstadt, the architect's office w : architekten has created a business card that may not fit in your wallet, but instead represents the company's self-image all the more.
Clear edges and lines, vertical wooden lamella cladding: it is almost impossible to overlook the new, striking building near Freudenstadts railway station, which has been planned and constructed by w : architects in recent months. Since the middle of this year, several companies have found a new place of activity there. Among them was the architectural duo itself, as Jörg Wörner and Mathias Walter used the project to translate their clear idea of architecture into a concrete building that is now the flagship of their work: combining regional building tradition with contemporary design will.
Building culture between residential area and city centre
Simple. Unaffected. Without roof overhangs, with clear edges and lines of the wooden slats, the building appears modern at first glance and yet blends harmoniously into the Freudenstadt railway station district. Between barriers and rails, between large buildings and two-family houses. Because at this location, the inner city and residential area merge seamlessly. A special feature, which is additionally accompanied by a height difference of several meters. "We took up this circumstance and worked it out in the design of the building," says Mathias Walter.
The underground car park of the large rectangular building is now at eye level with the city railway station, the saddle roof (west side) merges into a flat roof (east side). Tot he cityside, the building therefore has a four-storey appearance, while it has only two storeys to the housing on the northside. Due to this construction method, the building seems to play with the surrounding elements: "It is an interpretation of regional building tradition," says Walter. For several years, the architectural office was looking for a new place to work; it was only on request to the city that the two architects were suggested the area at the city railway station, who quickly recognised the challenges and opportunities of the site: "We looked at many locations where the number of square metres was right, but the content was always wrong. The room structures were always too small-sized," says Wörner, who, like his business partner, flirted with an open office concept - with spaces that promote communication.
Construction concept for the diversity of working life
In addition to the „AOK“- health centre with administration, gymnastics and conference rooms, a dental and physiotherapy practice also moved into the building. The room structures were adapted to the individual needs of the new tenants: A mix of large, bright rooms. Few materials dominate the interior design: concrete, wood and glass. In general, sustainability played a major role for the two architects during the design phase: if the building was demolished tomorrow, there would be virtually no hazardous waste. The energy standard of the building is based on the lower end of the scale. A special feature of the interior design, however, is the architecture office itself. Here the two architects were able to develop freely. The centrepiece is an imposing gallery room, whose feeling of space is enhanced by a fully glazed western front.
The lamella cladding of the exterior façade is also found in the interior, which dissolves the boundary to the exterior and also has a purely functional reason: sound absorption. The 17 employees should feel comfortable in the architectural office, which, according to the two architects, also promotes the success of the company. In addition, Mathias Walter and Jörg Wörner wanted to create a representative object that would also offer potential clients an insight into an essential organisational and design feature of the architectural office: Open Office - open structures, free and communicative, which promote the exchange within the teams as well as offer space for retreat. This allows each employee to find the right working environment, depending on the requirements of his current job. A design concept that pays tribute to the multifaceted nature of modern working life: locking employees in an office, or offices where employees lock themselves, is no longer how companies work today. Knowledge transfer - between departments and across hierarchies - must be efficient these days. "Open Space and agile working environments are topics of the future in officebuildings ," says Jörg Wörner. For this reason, common and meeting rooms as well as rest and chill-out zones have been set up in the office landscape.