Clarity Meets Playfulness
Alnatura Arbeitswelt in Darmstadt, on the site of the former US-Army Kelley Barracks, has reached architectural milestones in terms of sustainability and material efficiency. Designed by haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050, it accommodates up to 500 employees over three floors. The light-flooded atrium evokes a feeling similar to being out in the open air: the transparent timber roof and front façades allow for the whole interior to be flooded with daylight. In spite of the building’s clarity of form and generous dimensions, the curved edges of the different floor levels add playfulness along with a strong sense of movement. The building comprises a single large space from the ground floor up to the roof, without partitions. Bridges, stairs and walkways link the different levels, dissecting the volume of the atrium with distinctive pathways. Workplaces are identified by their location in diverse spatial situations: ‘private’ work areas, such as the alcoves, contrast with ‘public’ spaces. Meeting areas can be screened off via acoustically insulating curtains. Open ‘kitchenettes’ are available on all floors. Here, tables, armchairs and sofas have been arranged to create an inviting setting for conversations.
Holistic Sustainable Approach
Not only did the planning team assess the energy needed to operate the building early on in the design process, they also reviewed all resources required for its construction, upkeep, and eventual demolition. Rammed earth blocks were stacked along the northern and southern façades to form 16 wall segments, each about 40 ft high. Here, for the first time ever, a geothermal wall heating system was integrated into a dry loam wall. The rammed earth elements have an insulated core consisting of foam glass gravel, a recyclable product. Thanks to the durability, the excellent humidity regulation and the thermal storage capacity of these materials, the building will preserve its value over a long period of time. Inside, the porous surfaces help improve indoor climate and acoustic performance. Acoustics are further optimized by absorbent strips integrated directly into the concrete soffits and the wooden slatted ceiling. To achieve natural ventilation throughout the year, fresh air is drawn into a subterranean channel by two air intake towers and distributed through the building, reducing additional heating and cooling to a minimum. The project has recently been awarded the Platinum Certificate of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
|Client||Campus 360 GmbH|
|Sector||Food and beverage industry|
|Project type||New building|
|Gross floor area m2||13.500|
|Number of employees||500|
|Lighting||Floor lamp: LAVIGO - Waldmann | Ceiling light: Modul Q - Nimbus, Molto Luce | Pendant light: Studio Line - Bega|
|Flooring||Visible screed sanded: Chemotechnik | Carpet flooring: Eco Zen, Carpet Concept|
|Acoustics||Sound absorber in bare ceiling: Sorp 10, Max Frank | Soundproof curtain system: Gerriets|
|Workspace Furniture||Desk: CDS, Vitra | Storage space: Level 34, Vitra|
|Conference Furniture||Conference table: MedaMorph, Vitra|
|Lounge Furniture||Alcove, Vitra|
|Technology||Internally: WiFi area-wide HP-Aruba | LAN cabling at the workspaces (voice over IP) | Externally: Telekom MPLS network|