Architects: Chaix & Morel et Associés, JSWD Architekten
- Year: 2010
Photographs:Christian Richters, Ardex
Manufacturers: Otto Aman
- Exterior Facilities: Kipar Landschaftsarchitekten
- Facade Consultants: Ingenieurbüro Franke
- Client: ThyssenKrupp AG
- City: Essen
- Country: Germany
Text description provided by the architects. The ThyssenKrupp Quarter consists of a cluster of individual buildings embedded in a green, tree- studded carpet. Linked by short paths and small squares, the buildings line a central ordering axis comprising a large water basin and the “Avenue of the Worlds”. In addition to this general development plan, the TKQ architect consortium JSWD Architekten and Chaix & Morel paid particular attention to the architectural consistency of the individual buildings. The aim was to create a quarter with a compact and homogeneous architectural appearance conveying a strong sense of unity. The campus is dominated by intricate facade structures of metal and glass.
The floor-to-ceiling glazing reinforces the impression of openness and transparency. The overriding design motif applied to all the new buildings on the campus is the “shell – core” principle. All buildings in the quarter are composed of L-shaped elements enclosing a shared central space. This gives a clear alignment not only to the headquarters (Q1) but also the forum building (Q2) and the neighboring office buildings Q5 and Q7. There are two types of facade: One faces the central space, the other faces the exterior and is therefore responsible for the impact the buildings create in the surrounding area.
The three-storey Q2 building is the communications centre of the Quarter. This is where the company receives its guests. A large meeting and event hall accommodating up to 1,000 people, additional conference rooms as well as an employee cafeteria and a public cafe make up the general infrastructure. The below-ground logistics serving the entire area are cantered in the basement. The three main storeys are interconnected at multiple locations by shared empty spaces of variable height. As with other buildings, in case of Q2 the outer stainless steel sun protection also plays a key role in terms of the overall appearance of the campus architecture. Vertical rotation axes are combined with bevelled perforated plates of varying width. With perforation covering 25% of the surface good visibility is ensured even in the closed position.
The “Room of Tranquillity” in Q2 is a place of peace and reflection. It offers employees and guests a chance to reflect and is meant to encourage intercultural, interdenominational communication on the border between the private sphere and the working world. The main room, where a cube opens on the bottom appears to float in space, is located at the end of an elongated access with exceptionally high ceilings. Natural light enters the interior through the skylight along the perimeter.
The interior walls of the floating cube are clad with finger-shaped spliced titanium shingles. The ceiling illuminated with LEDs makes the cube appear to have no top end. The materiality of the titanium shingles dissolves with elevation, which further intensifies the levitating appearance of the cube. Homogenous surfaces project calm and strengthen spatial sensation. Mobile stools are the only furniture in the room.