H7 administrative building
best architects 18 in Gold
Münster / Germany
The urban situation around Münster’s harbour area is characterised by a heterogeneous mix of solitary buildings and the visible structural changes taking place in the former urban harbour. It offers the unique opportunity to design a building with a clear and individual expression. In order to meet the exacting environmental standards of the main investor and anchor tenant, the management of a regional organic retail chain, timber was already chosen in an early workshop as the primary building material. The aim was – with the utilisation of timber as a main construction material for the seven-storey building – to widen the scope of application for this specific type of construction and introduce the qualities to a wider audience.
»Like an open bookshelf, the office building stands with its short side overlooking the harbour, its façade like a visible cross-section that directly reveals the logic of the building’s internal structure.«
One of the main features is the visible use of timber for key elements of the load-bearing structure. Wall and ceiling panels are prefabricated and »surface-mounted«. The visible wooden surface creates an interior with an almost domestic feel.
The use of timber as a renewable raw material saved 262 tons of carbon dioxide. In addition, each floor has its own terrace, which, combined with the fully glazed facing façade of the building, offers views onto the busy activities around Münster’s harbour area. The façade skin of green glazed terracotta tiles was designed especially for the H7. Three differently shaped panels and slightly different shades of green create a nuanced play of colours. Depending on the way the light falls and the weather conditions, quite varying ambiences are generated.
Andreas Heupel studied architecture in Münster and Blacksburg, Virginia. Over the next 13 years, he held an executive position in the office of architect Prof. Josef P. Kleihues and contributed to the realisation of schools and museums in North Rhine-Westphalia and high-rises in Berlin. In 2001, he founded Andreas Heupel Architekten.