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© 2013 X-TERN architects+urban planners


X-TERN as Architects

The challenge of this project was to provide the Client (a worldwide operating firm specialized in furniture design and production) with an extension of the existing headquarters which also had the tasks to provide a contemporary high quality workplace and to enhance the company's corporate image. Glass-Tunnel_The entire design solution focuses around a central foyer (codename: glass-tunnel) which connects an existing pavilion (now transformed into a wide showroom, codename: Musterhalle) to the brand new offices and the existing headquarters' buildings. The glass-tunnel has become a symbolic and physical gathering space for the personnel; a venue for memorable events, celebrations, and exhibitions. This space marks comings and goings, the beginning and the end of each working day. Along with the outside new courtyard, it also works as a scenic background for conversations and mutual exchange of experience between old and young personnel during coffee breaks. On the east and the west side two wide glazed surfaces lets natural light in and soften the feeling of being inside a building.

Roof extension_The new offices_ Another challenge during the design process was the connection of the different floor levels of the existing south, east and west buildings into the new office wing, which had also to share the same roof slope with the existing south pavilion to create a single mixed-use volume.

The elementary shape of the double-pitched roof (connecting the Musterhalle, the Glass-tunnel and the new office building), beyond being a distinctive presence in production areas, also underlines and emphasizes, in this case, the sense of the word “extension”. It also became the design matrix of the new wing's north facade, where a border metal cladding follows its shape and works as a frame for the glazed surface. The north glass-facade hosting, on one corner, a 3-D company logo, works as a mirror for the beautiful natural surroundings. On the southern side of the two-store office building a foyer, directly connected to the Glass-tunnel, hosts a coffee-break-box as well as a curved staircase leading to the upper floor. During the design/construction phase great effort was made to reuse and recycle as many as possible elements of the demolished buildings. Glazing provides good natural light filtration in the offices areas and discourages the use of artificial lighting. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are designed to provide an optimum working environment.

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