Structural PlanningUwe Seiler
Text description provided by the architects. Situated in a mixed-use urban area next to the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, the 2012 completed workshop and office complex sets new standards in sustainable and energy efficient design for the industrial sector.
The building was specially designed for the requirements of Artis, a relatively small firm, interested in the planning and realisation of high quality interior fittings for exhibitions, trade-fairs and retail premises. They lead in the field of modern production technologies and use these to take complex ideas from paper to accurate three-dimensional realisation. The holistic design solution for their new headquarters has been developed in a collaborative and open process together with the client and all involved specialists.
The brief required a work hall and associated office spaces to be combined into an integrated and compact solution. The resulting L-shaped plan surrounds a yard from which the entrance and delivery needs are served. The hall is clad with wooden shingles while in contrast the planning and administration building is finished rationally in white plaster applied to wood fibre boards.
The ground floor follows the production process; from work hall, through the handwork areas, paint room, to pre-distribution storage. Visitors enter the building by climbing an outside staircase and emerge directly into the reception from where they are afforded a dynamic view over the workshop hall through a glazed gallery. Simple interior finishes and raw top surfaces allow the high quality materials employed to be expressed, while considered use of transparence and white earth plaster create a warm and light atmosphere.
The building’s highly insulated, airtight structure was realised using sustainably sourced timber and low carbon embodying raw materials. The buildings energy performance exceeds the EnEV 2009 requirements by 86%. All of the above ground elements were pre-fabricated allowing the shell to be assembled and weather tight in just five weeks. The outer walls and roof elements are permeable timber structures filled with cellulose insulation. The ceiling above the ground floor is comprised of massive pre-fabricated glue-laminated timber elements. In the hall a circumferential glass light-band provides optimal, natural daylighting. The hall’s roof itself is supported by timber fish belly trusses (20m span) which allow for optimal use of material. In order to improve the office spaces heat retention, a green roof was deployed on the roof of the administration areas. Additional stabilisation of the room climate is provided through the use of white earth plaster on the ceilings.
The sustainability concept aimed to replace technology through the use of passive strategies. The buildings heating requirements are fully covered by a solid fuel boiler fed with timber waste from the workshop. The surplus of heating energy will be supplied to the neighbouring concert halls. Furthermore pV panels on the roof produce 1.5x more energy than the building needs for lighting, ventilation and auxiliary power.