MIND AC: SCL // Solid timber building - best architects 17


SCL // Solid timber building

best architects 17

office/administrative buildings


Bischofsheim / Germany


Nick Frank


In the densely developed town centre of Mainz-Bischofsheim, a new building in solid timber construction was to be built on a tiny plot for flexible use as offices or apartments. Sustainability and ecology were primary concerns, and the design brief was to demonstrate that this holistic approach is viable even in crowded city centres. The building volume was aligned to create different degrees of public accessibility and privacy in the various spaces, with new vistas continually opening up. The design embraces building regulations and takes advantage of the mandatory border development. The access core, with its library wall stretching over three storeys, abuts directly on an extension added to the neighbouring building and thus allows the rear section to be offset, forming a private, sheltered inner courtyard. The structural principles of the design were flexibility and spatial relationships both inside and outside within the confined space. The building itself is meant to give the impression of subtle, yet well-conceived modern simplicity and material reduction, which allows for a versatile and ever-changing appearance — a form that is neither abstract nor shouting for attention, integrating itself into the urban context. The intentional and exclusive use of untreated wood as a structural, insulating and aesthetic material on both exterior and interior coincides with the guiding principles of sustainability and elegant simplicity.