The Würth Haus Rorschach, situated between the shore of Lake Constance and the train station, houses a conference centre, exhibition spaces for the art collection, administration, work-shops, a restaurant and a cafeteria. The greenish crystalline building responds to the unique location of the site with a structure that oscillates between transparency and shiny reflective surfaces that multiply the natural beauty of the setting. The architecture affords views out to the surroundings, glimpses into the building, and sightlines through it to the park and lake. The building reacts to its surroundings with lower and higher volumes and setbacks. A double glass envelope encases the building. The inner layer is made up of triple glazing and metalclad thermal insulation. The outer, ventilated layer is composed of offset greenish glass panes equipped with a thin mesh insert with a metallic luster. This creates a rhythmically articulated glass curtain that provides protection against wind from the lake and noise from the street and also against excessive heat and cold. The predominance of glass in the building materials is continued on the roof in the form of CIS photovoltaic panels.
The external, rear- ventilated layer of glass consists of staggered, pale green panes with a subtle, metallic-gloss fabric insert made from laminated SEFAR® Architecture VISION Fabric AL 140/70. This graceful, rhythmic, curtain of glass protects the building from lakeside winds and its users from street noise, providing an effective balance between warmth and coolness. Reflections from the sky and lake change according to the time of day and season while the facade itself takes on different appearances depending on the angle of vision.
The Würth Administration Building with education and training center is being constructed in Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance in Eastern Switzerland. From early 2013, this has provided employment for around 250 staff as well as offering teaching rooms, an exhibition area, and a congress hall for up to 500 people. The building is ideally situated at the lakeside and very close to the railway station. Architectural practice Gigon/Guyer won an international competition with their project entitled «Lichtspiel» (play of light) because, in the opinion of the judges, they interpreted the project specifications in the most consistent way. The architecture blends into the existing surroundings and landscape while maintaining a distinctive identity of its own.
The five-storey building has a cubic capacity of 144400 m3, and cost CHF 140 million to construct. It is encased in two layers of glass whose appearance shimmers between transparency and reflection, reproducing many times over the distinctive features and beauty of its location. This architecturally impressive construction not only makes a new and attractive workplace, but thanks to its culturally appealing visual radiance it also adds economic value to the whole St.Gallen-Bodensee region, an area popular with visitors from home and abroad.