|Acknowledgment RIBA Award
A symbiotic building. On the periphery of the city of Leipzig, the new administration headquarters of the Verbundnetz Gas AG, one of Germany’s largest energy supply companies, was developed. The intention for this project was to create synergies between the organisation and technology departments and to endow an unassuming city district on the periphery with a new quality of life.
The large data processing centre at the heart of the company was the point of departure for our design concept. It was to be integrated into the room scheme sparingly using resources, but nevertheless clearly demonstrating its significance. The image of a symbiotic building evolved from it, a “warm stone“, the data processing centre, filling its environment, the atrium and the two adjacent office wings, with warmth. On a hot summer’s day, however, the energy produced locally by two block heating systems can be absorbed and then re-directed into the building’s cooling system.
Central to the room scheme is the “warm stone“ embedded in the atrium, a gap space fashioned into an area of multiple use, with green terraces frequented for day-to-day communication and cultural events alike. All areas are covered by a protective glass shell whose differentiated sensors react to changes in the climate. They are linked to a lighting installation, a sculpture by renowned artists James Turell, who shows an entertaining display changing from pale pink, to orange, red, green, turquoise and blue projected onto the end walls where the conference areas are situated. This visual attraction essentially enhances the area surrounding the building.