New construction of an office building according to DGNB Platinum certification — Herdweg 19, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany — 3,300 m² — 2011 — blocher partners

A concrete monolith

As the setting for their jewel, the architects used the rather heterogeneous urban backdrop of Herdweg: Simple, but striking.

An eye-catcher that bedazzles all who walk or drive past. The rustic charm of exposed concrete – a double-layered concrete façade with cavity insulation – plays off against the ethereal transparency of broad windows. Elements of Sipo mahogany, strategically placed, give the façade depth; and the clean lines add a sense of order and dynamics. The percentage of glass reflects the specifications set by the DNGB for the platinum certification, while the wooden cubes minimize the appearance of the building’s shell and absorb sound. These cubes also allow for manual control of ventilation, in addition to the automatically controlled blinds that block sunlight.

Architecture of dialog

The office building consists of three full floors, a garden, a roof and cellar. The simplicity of the interior design, with its sandblasted and exposed concrete surfaces as well as its cement screed flooring, works in harmony with the outer appearance. Open floors, which nevertheless have clearly defined spaces, make the boundaries between working areas disappear.

A furnished patio adjoins the generous cafeteria on the garden level, flanked on one side by the single-story wing of the building. The other side opens out onto a two-story atrium, separated from the cafeteria only by a sliding glass wall. From the ground floor, the atrium opens into an impressive open space graced by a light-installation inspired by the »jackstraws« or »pick-up-sticks« game. There are also manifold visual perspectives to be enjoyed from the open-designed steel staircase, which leads from the garden level to the uppermost floor.

Sustainable by every trick in the book

Certified with Platinum by the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council), the building incorporates a broad range of sustainability measures. Amongst them are the prevention of toxic materials or the reduction of the life circle costs.

With a view ahead, it was also important to create dividable floors to be able to implement several offices or apartments in the future. The intermingling of ecology and economy also shows within the fusion of building construction and technology which includes a thermally comfortable room climate as much as energy saving at the maximum. The lighting concept which relies on daylight and LED technology belongs as much to the measures as do air hygiene and aesthetical aspects.

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