Concrete style

Design Penzel Valier
Location Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany
Despite its heavy main component this workspace feels light and airy - thanks to alternating concrete and glas elements.

Steinbeis House

Since 2000, the Stuttgart-based Steinbeis Association has had its own building in the direct vicinity of the University of Hohenheim, with offices and seminar rooms for advanced training events. The office responsible at the time, Drei Architekten, has now been awarded another planning contract – this time for the development of the directly adjoining triangular plot of land. The new headquarters of the association, which operates worldwide as a service provider in the transfer of knowledge and technology and recently decided to expand thanks to a successful history of impact, was to be built.

After completion, the extension stands confidently free in front of the existing building, but picks up on its exposed concrete appearance, whereby the surface of the core-insulated double-shell exterior walls was deliberately designed with a finer formwork grain compared to its older brother. The leitmotif of the constructively honest and materially affine concrete construction also determines the interior with its economically clever program. The upper floor ceilings, for example, were left raw and equipped with concrete core activation to regulate the room climate, while acoustic damping is achieved by means of regularly inserted absorber strips.

Concrete and glass

The floor plan makes maximum use of the building site, with the column-free cantilever of the upper floors protecting the main entrance and the outdoor terrace located here. The four-story structure, including the basement, is differentiated externally into three façade zones: the closed concrete surface, the row of generous individual windows, and the continuous, floor-to-ceiling glass wall. Clarity also prevails on the inside: terrazzo flooring below, carpeting above, multiple offices and meeting rooms with partially glazed partitions – on the first floor – or open spaces on the upper floors are assigned to the windows.

Behind the transparent exterior walls at the bottom are the foyer and meeting zones, all furnished with warm-toned oak surfaces and furniture taken from Studio HANS in terms of planning. Behind the closed outer walls, storage and access as well as the sanitary core find their place. Atmospherically effective, a light atrium was situated centrally in the building, vertically accompanied by a spiral staircase, which is successfully dedicated to both the visual loosening up and the inner communication and interaction.

"The theme of 'networking and communication' runs through the entire new building from the first floor to the office spaces on the upper floors and continues outside and throughout the campus."
— Drei Architekten

What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?

Harald Konsek / Rainer Streule / Christian Vogel: Our workplace has long since ceased to consist solely of a desk and office chair. Everyone decides agilely and freely which work location suits the current activity. Dynamic change must be able to take place spontaneously and without complications, from an interactive work group to a private, quiet retreat. The quality and design of the working landscape is what makes this dynamism and flexibility possible in the first place.

Do you see any comparability in interior design for living and for working?

Individual themes from the living area, such as feeling good, coziness and warmth, lead to an identification of each individual with the company when designing work environments. However, due to the fact that, in contrast to the living space, a large number of individuals enter the office landscape every morning, a much more complex task arises. The challenge lies in recognizing the different preferences and needs and interpreting them to an appropriate degree, implementing them in the design and thereby creating a sense of home. The greatest common denominator: the best parties always take place in the kitchen!

Which material-related aspects do you see as the most decisive in the future development of Workspaces?

There will continue to be an extremely rapid development in sustainability issues. In order to conserve resources, the use of recycled materials and the integration of smart and efficient technology will become increasingly important. This is creating exciting new processes and innovative ideas for envelopes and interiors. How can used materials be used as secondary raw materials? How is existing material reused and reinterpreted?

ClientSteinbeis Property Management GmbH
ArchitectsDrei Architekten
CompletionNovember 2021
Project typeNew Buliding
Gross floor area m23.400
Number of employees-
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-

Floor Plans

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