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The Cradle

The Cradle

HPP Architects
Düsseldorf, Germany
Project Year

HPP design cradle-to-cradle project in Düsseldorf

HPP Architects as Architects

Düsseldorf's first hybrid timber construction office building is being developed according to HPP Architects' designs. In late October the city council approved the HPP design. The building on Speditionstrasse 2 in the Media Harbour will be built by Ratingen project developer INTERBODEN and will open development on the southern part of Harbour A. Approximately 5,200 square metres of office space, as well as 600 square metres of space for gastronomic use on the ground floor will be created between the Trivago and Heimathafen projects, which are already under construction.

The "The Cradle" project is particularly characterised by the "cradle-to-cradle-principle ©", whereby, according to the biomimetic approach to the design of buildings, individual components are recycled after use, CO2 emissions are reduced and the use of non-recyclable materials is minimized. The latter is reflected in the hybrid wood construction: The load-bearing timber ceilings are connected reversibly to concrete filigree roofs, thereby meeting sound insulation, fire protection and weatherproofing requirements. "I am convinced that the principle will prevail in our industry, because it is more sustainable than ENEV, which rather promotes the production of stronger, non-reusable, and hard-to-dispose-of insulating materials", commented Vanja Schneider, Managing Director of INTERBODEN Innovative Gewerbewelten® GmbH & Co. KG.

"The Cradle" manages to retain a distinctive and singular appearance within the context of the Media Harbour, due to its characteristic diamond-shaped wooden façade structure. “The exposed location in Düsseldorf's Media Harbour calls for a special and innovative architectural response for the new building at Speditionstrasse 2”, said Gerhard G. Feldmeyer, responsible Managing Partner at HPP Architects. The innovative wooden structure was created in integrated cooperation with structural engineers Knippers Helbig and Transsolar's energy planners. The façade performs structural and shading functions as well as housing the natural ventilation concept and provides loggias with a view on to the Media Harbour. The depth of the external wooden structure varies depending on direction: on the south and west sides it forms an effective, broad sun shade, on the north and east sides the depth is reduced. Baffles on the upper floors act as structural wood protection, as sound insulation in front of the opening windows and as a guardrail in the loggias. The ground floor is constructed in concrete, such that baffles can be dispensed with in order to facilitate an open design and public access. The façade, which integrates all functions, creates column-free, open floor plans that allow for flexible use and a variety of layout options. Due to the immediate proximity of the 76-metre office building SIGN! by Helmut Jahn, the roof is constructed as the "fifth façade" and set-back staggered storey, integrating the HVAC/r systems and forming a rooftop terrace that runs around the circumference.

In addition to the climate-friendly construction, the building has a cutting edge mobility concept: a mobility service centre - the "mobility hub" will be positioned on the ground floor. Here, the building users and local residents will have access to a range of charging stations or car-sharing and bike-sharing services primarily geared to e-mobility.

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