- Stuttgart, Germany
The modular timber building Zero. completes the conversion of the former Hansa factory site into a mixed quarter with housing, office buildings and Stuttgart’s Fire and Rescue Station 5. Urbanistically, its differentiated building figure along Sigmaringer Straße mediates between the free-standing cubic AEB headquarters and the windmill-like courtyard building of the new fire station. The elongated building configuration with two incised courtyards opens an inviting entrance court to Sigmaringer Straße and a protected canteen courtyard facing the rear garden area of AEB. This creates a representational address with a main entrance in the middle of the building via a covered portico to the front, and a fluent transition to AEB’s commonly used open space to the rear. The ground floor is conceived as a shared space for all users, and it features inviting foyer areas, common meeting and conference rooms, a company restaurant with ‘work café’, and a fitness studio. By enabling between AEB and Zero. to share kitchen and sports facilities, the two buildings develop a valuable campus with mutual indoor and outdoor spaces. The above-ground building figure is conceived as a series of prefabricated timber modules in the form of four column-free wings that wrap around the two outdoor courtyards. Separable into two L-shaped rental units each, a ‘loop’ is created at both the front and the rear of the building, allowing for a high degree of internal communication and visual connection within the ring-shaped spatial structure. The regular structure of the two primary office rings is completed by additional structural and infrastructural elements. A central main circulation core of conventional in-situ concrete construction and attached sanitary and technical spaces of modular construction form the functional backbone of the building. Peripheral steel escape staircases affixed to in-situ concrete walls and external timber trusses on the front ends of the modules provide transverse and longitudinal stiffening for the building. The upper storey is set back and features two partially greened roof terraces. The roofs themselves are designed as solar green roofs and thus form an important component of the sustainable building and energy concept. The resulting building embodies a future-oriented concept of climate-friendly buildings whose outward and inward character is defined by a responsible approach to the environment.