Gilbert Sommer / Andreas Flora
best architects 14
As the new company building is located in the middle of a residential area, an essential aspect of the design was to provide the local community with added value by means of the planted façade. The mixed use of the construction zone is therefore seen not as a constraint, but as a mission. The forward-looking mixed-zone model as a sustainable solution for housing development is juxtaposed here with the idea of a »green box«. Wisteria beds planted all around the building offer shade in the summer and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, while in the winter they enable the passive use of solar energy. The wisteria is a robust climbing plant whose vines become increasingly woody with the passing years (lignification), altering the appearance of the building accordingly. Low-tech solutions, short construction times and the »green façade« do justice here to the essential aspect of a gradual transition to ecological building. The architects consider it absolutely necessary, if a successful ecological paradigm shift is to take place, that this awareness be incorporated as design principle in architecture in the form of aesthetic and lifestyle enhancement.