Architects: Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture
Location: Kungälv, Sweden
Size: 1,100 sqm.
Team: Fredrik Kjellgren, Johan Brandström, Yvonne Lohmann, Joakim Kaminsky, Pamela Paredes, Jochim Haag, Alexandra Agapie, Margherita Castellani, Josefina Högberg
Photographs: Kalle Sanner
We have designed a new office building for the steel manufacturer Lecor. The building is situated in Kungälv, 10 kilometers north of Gothenburg. Lecor manufacture advanced steel constructions and wanted to showcase their skills in their own building. This intention in combination with the opportunity to create a landmark building visible from the nearby highway, was the starting point of our design process.
The building, which houses the Lecor headquarters includes offices, dining area/kitchenette, meeting rooms, a library and change-rooms.
We have worked with materials, colors and textures in various ways that can be associated with the steel industry and its traditions. The color pallet consists mostly of soft pastels and whites. We have adopted the principle of “draping” each room in a single colour.
The building is clad in dark gray steel panels in a repetitive pattern. To emphasize the factory function of steel production, we have allowed some elements of the building to shoot out of the facade in the form of a glass boxes, contained within a steel frame. On the first floor, slides the main entrance as a windbreak with a pastel colored steel frame. On the second floor, adjacent to the staff kitchen/dining area, slides the “dining cube” in a clear yellow color.
On top, across the building, we further highlight and advertise the factorys’ steel operations by placing a conference room and an outdoor terrace enclosed in a long bridge of truss plant-steel construction. The lattice frame is metallic silver and the contained conference bridge is pastel green with large glass partitions along three of it’s sides. From this room you get a 270 degree view out towards the deep woods of Sweden.
Inside, the first floor of the building is divided into four main parts each with their own emphasized elements. The dining room at one end has the forest view, then there’s the change-rooms, the main entrance with a spectacular steel staircase and the office area with a stairwell of glass and steel as well as yellow polished steel “short cut” spiral staircase.
The entrance hall is similar to a white sea with a large staircase in the spotlight. It has a core of sturdy, tall, painted steel walls with a specially designed pattern resembling the white glow from welding, in the form of perforated holes of various sizes that will be lit both by artificial and the natural light of the above skylight. The walls of various heights extending up to the second floor combined with their powerful visual expression become the design elements of a worthy entrance for visitors and employees.
The entrance hall is lined with black ceramic tiles in order to contrast and emphasise the oak steps of the main stair and whiteness of the space in general. The black ceramic tiles are a mix of three sizes, presented in a specially designed pattern. This pattern continues outside the entrance hall itself, as a way to invite guests in.
We have selected certain places in order to mark them by “draping” them into a selected color. For example, the library on the second floor has a muted pink shade both on the carpet and the walls. The change-rooms, showers, toilets, and some pantries and kitchens are covered with pastel blue tiles, dull army green, pastel green, light grey, pale yellow and crisp white shades, following once more the principle that the whole room has a single color on the floor and walls.
On the second level hardwood flooring is used and has been layed in different directions depending on the room and it’s function and also to highlight the elements of the plan. The hardwood flooring is broken and contrasted at times, for example in the cloakroom and toilet by stark-white tiled floors and in the library by the pink carpet that stretches out into the corridor.
The walls of the office rooms are made of glass, the facing walls and doors have a soft gray tone. The “dining cube” has accent colors both inside and outside. Here a bright yellow tone is used internally on the walls and on the spiral staircase in combination with blue radiators. This is intended to create a bright, alert appearance at the building’s heart.