RS+Yellow Distribution Centre / Bolles + Wilson

© Christian Richters

Architects: Bolles + Wilson
Location: Münster, Germany
Partners in Charge: Prof. Julia Bolles-Wilson, Peter Wilson
Construction Supervision: Klaus Kuchenbuch
Client: Rainer Scholze
Project Area: 9,158 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Markus Hauschild, Rainer Mader, Christian Richters

site plan

This is the third building for the German-wide furniture chain RS+Yellow, an extension of the homebase storage and distribution centre by 7,000 sqm. The new rectangular building volume stands adjacent to the original 1992 corrugated aluminium warehouse.

© Christian Richters

The 60 x 66 m two stores ‘Big-Box’ is (as is usual for industrial architecture) reduced to a regular grid of pre-cast columns and widespan floor slabs. Facades are a standard lightweight concrete system. Verticality is emphasised with pyjama colour stripes interspersed with coated grid stripes. These absorb all windows and necessary smoke outlets into an uninterrupted colour curtain.

© Christian Richters

This warehouse and even perhaps the 1,500 sqm of offices above the delivery bays are precisely realised but relatively conventional. The big surprise comes on arriving at the rooftop meeting rooms and executive offices. Through the intervention of the fire brigade (choreographed alarm) the roof of the building has been flooded – a 45 x 65 m reflecting pool. The edge detail, laser levelled into invisibility, increases the metaphysical unreality of this sky reflector. Underwater compartments eliviate the risk of mini-tsunamis. Spillage is collected in edge channels and channelled to an internal cistern.

plan 02

A wooden boardwalk fronts the large format sliding glass facade. A pier extends out to the centre of the water world. Here one can sit surrounded by geometric groves of bamboo. From here the south facing glass front of the roof pavilion reflects again the rippling expanse of water. The facade itself is shaded by a projecting steel pergola and a curtain of louvers descending at the press of a button from its outer edge.

© Markus Hauschild

This choreographed overlap of inside and outside, of natural and artificial, of direct and reflected light, create a unique atmosphere which could be described as an industrial scaled Japanese Tea-House.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "RS+Yellow Distribution Centre / Bolles + Wilson" 21 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=82905>
  • roadkill

    very good, great work from B&W as usual…. quite risky though with all that water