Schüco is expanding its existing headquarters in Bielefeld: the newbuild designed by the architectural practice 3XN will be executed with Schüco system solutions and connected to the current headquarters.
Bridge to the future
Schüco is expanding its existing headquarters in Bielefeld. The newbuild, designed by renowned Copenhagen architectural practice 3XN, will be open plan with a communicative working environment. Together with Schüco system solutions, the result will be an architecturally sophisticated newbuild that makes values such as innovation, excellence, partnership and responsibility visible and tangible. Five floors form a bridge over Schücostraße and create a direct connection with the current headquarters, the front part of which will undergo a complete refurbishment after the newbuild phase.
For more than 60 years, the Schüco headquarters on Karolinenstraße have defined the cityscape of Bielefeld. Over the decades the site has gradually expanded, becoming a large campus with buildings from different eras. Now, the northwestern edge of the site will be enhanced by the newbuild designed by 3XN. With seven levels and floor space of 7200 m2, this will be a modern office environment for employees. Building is planned to start in the first quarter of 2018. Andreas Engelhardt, CEO and Managing Partner, is delighted: “With the newbuild, we will create a modern working environment that promotes dialogue, collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. We are thereby laying the foundation for further growth and a successful future”.
Following an international competition held in accordance with the transparent regulations of the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Architects, Schüco commissioned the renowned Copenhagen architectural practice 3XN to design and implement the project. The designers have planned a building structure with an elegant façade, whose cubature picks up the contours and vanishing lines of the surrounding buildings and sets a striking architectural tone on the busy Herforder Straße.
With a connecting attachment to the existing headquarters, a glass bridge will be built over Schücostraße at the same time, which will be extended as part of the newbuild. “In the interaction of the two buildings, we are creating an inviting gateway to the Schüco campus which it borders to the rear”, explains 3XN partner architect Jan Ammundsen.
Open atrium as a focal point
3XN’s designs combine Scandinavian clarity and functionality with expressive forms and precise details. The interior design of the Schüco newbuild also follows the same aspiration. With its dynamically layered floors, which form a pattern of gentle projections and recesses, the atrium functions as the central spine and the heart of the building as it rises up through all the floors, lit by a glass dome. The interaction of the different elements creates a continuous space that flows organically, with surprising lines of sight throughout the building.
On the freely accessible ground floor, there will be an open reception and several flexible conference rooms for seminars and meetings. Another important element is the wide staircase to the first floor, which is also designed as a meeting place and can be used as a platform for festivities and exhibitions when required. Here, as in all other areas of the building, the architects are pursuing the aspiration of a modern office layout that promotes communication, offers space for different ways of working and provides chances for spontaneous encounters.
“We believe that architecture has a big influence on our behaviour”, says Jan Ammundsen, explaining one of his practice’s fundamental ideas. “This is why we place great value in general on holistically designed rooms and pleasant environments in which people feel part of a greater whole”. The newbuild therefore deliberately has no corridors and is conceived as an open working environment. Employees move in a loop around the central atrium, which creates a continuous flow without dead ends. The close link between the different departments located here is intended to facilitate a lively exchange of knowledge, thereby sustainably enriching the working day of all Schüco employees. Opportunities for work requiring high levels of concentration will be created along the external façade.
Emphasis on sustainability
The newbuild will have modern and low-maintenance building services for sustainable and energy-saving operation. The main heat source will be district heating. In addition, a geothermal heat pump will be available as the main source of cold water and as a backup for hot water. The building will be ventilated by a displacement ventilation system and integrated efficient heat recovery. It will also be naturally ventilated with window units that can be opened. Another key element in reducing the cooling load is the passive/active night-time cooling. As a result of the efficient interaction of the various measures and the Schüco system technology, the newbuild will receive the three LEED, BREEAM and DGNB certifications as proof of far-sighted planning, high-quality aesthetics, energy-saving operations and a holistic, modern work environment.