The engine manufacturer MTU cannot complain about its ideal location directly south of the international airport, in the immediate vicinity of the city of Hannover and connected to two highways. In connection with a plant expansion on the industrial site dedicated to the maintenance of commercial aircraft engines, the only thing missing was a striking building.
The design by Reichwald Schultz & Partner responded to this brief with an architecture that is as concentrated as it is expressive, the photographic documentation of which already has such a strong appeal that one cannot help but imagine that MTU will be able to make the best possible use of this structural ambition to install an optimized working environment inside as well.
The design, which was kept in an emphatically homogeneous gray that even matched the sunshade screens, formulated an approximately 70-meter-long box shape made of prefabricated facade elements, built around two staircases. The sober structure of acidified concrete gains its massive elegance from the horizontal windows of the four upper floors, which sit on a floor-to-ceiling glazed first floor. Its low parapet heights, which have been adjusted to match the heights of the work desks, support this. The interior is dominated by exposed concrete, with ventilation and electrical installations finding accommodation in the lower corridor zones with suspended expanded metal ceilings and a raised floor at the workstations.
Employees and visitors are greeted on the first floor by a longitudinally stretched hall with a grandstand-like open staircase and can use a café bar and the casino or gather in the conference area. This can be divided into three individual rooms. The upper floors are characterized by a spatially staged, clear zoning: parallel to each of the long sides are two open spans in which the office rooms are arranged. They can be flexibly rhythmized over their 70-meter length development by different boxes for short meetings, project work and temporary retreat.
The spine-like central axis is occupied by a condensed core area containing the access points, safe deposit boxes, WCs and kitchenettes or project areas, as well as “thinking cells” dedicated to quiet work, which are atmospherically differentiated by a three-level elevation.
What do you consider to be the main qualities of a good workplace?
Marc-Philip Reichwald: A good workplace structure takes into account the different requirements of everyday working life, such as communicative or concentrated work. A good workplace is in a well-proportioned room with outdoor space and makes it possible to mediate spatially between participation in the action and withdrawal.
Do you see any comparisons in space design for living and for working?
Regardless of where I’m staying, we believe it’s always about the quality of the space and precision down to the details. Different areas are spatially connected and at the same time separated from each other.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
We are currently experiencing a high demand for small meeting rooms that can be used for virtual meetings. We are interested in the question of how not only good light accentuates the room, but also how the luminaires as objects influence the room design.
|Client||MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH|
|Architects||Reichwald Schultz & Partner|
|Project type||New Buliding|
|Gross floor area m2||1.360|
|Number of employees||-|