KNERER UND LANG

Recycling and street cleaning depot

best architects 18

commercial/industrial buildings

Place

Augsburg / Germany

Photos

Jens Weber

Description

The problem of combining the diverse uses of the northern recycling depot with customer traffic, including administration, staff lounges, vehicle sheds, storerooms, salt storage and container parking spaces, was solved with a simple and pragmatic concept: all functions are grouped together under one roof. The varied functions with their required ceiling heights are all housed within a volume that gives the impression of a folding green landscape. Nearly 5,700 square meters of gross floor area are brought together to create a monolithic sculpture that wraps around a spacious courtyard. The façade design reflects the alternating »hard« qualities of the commercial yard and the »soft«, landscape-forming outer skin. The building presents a modest and reserved face to the outside world, with a simple cladding of larchwood slats. Only on the Holzweg side does the observer suspect that, behind the dynamic large timber form there is an operation dealing primarily with environmental concerns and sustainability. Upon entering the building, the impression changes, and the visitor is received in a courtyard surrounded by metal façades in an »Olympic blue« shade designed to appeal equally to outsiders and the fifty or so employees. The courtyard becomes a fitting stage for the recycling centre’s activities.