Architects: Bolles + Wilson
Location: Ahlen, Germany
Project Managers: Prof. Julia B. Bolles-Wilson, Peter L. Wilson
Project Team: Andreas Polzer, Thomas Refflinghaus, Wojtek Kazmierski
Client: Franz Kaldewei GmbH & Co. KG, Ahlen
Structural Engineer: Ing.-Büro Pollmeier-Blume, Ahlen
Service Engineer: Ingenieurbüro Nordhorn, Münster
Project Area: 550 sqm
Budget: 1,2M Euro
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Rainer Mader
The new visitors entrance stands like a bookend in relation to the 1930’s works facade; an acrobatically projecting stone clad volume, mass co-opted as a silent, announcing presence. Meeting rooms hover above the entrance; the lobby behind is carved out of the existing building. The pavilion addresses a new extensive Kaldewei park and will in the future be supplemented by a blue-brick administration wing.
After an entrance compression the lobby expands, a checkerboard of reliable oak.
As in the nearby KKC (B+W 2005) lighting and air outlets are integrated in recessed cassettes. A Fritz Winter painting nestles in the niche behind the white reception desk.
The steel spiral staircase stands centre-stage, backlit by a dematerialised light wall. It leads the visitor through a short but complex promenade architectural, an unfolding survey of this modest but dramatic lobby. The curved steel side panels are structural, the first step anchoring. The underneath and inner stairs spiral, not parametric, but Euclidean geometries, constructed not by lasers but by craftsmen.