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ThyssenKrupp Quarter Essen

Building in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany – design by JSWD Architects and Chaix & Morel et Associés

14 Jan 2011

ThyssenKrupp Quarter Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia

The ThyssenKrupp Quarter – Architectural Presence

Design: JSWD Architects and Chaix & Morel et Associés

The vision of the ThyssenKrupp Quarter to be a “consistent”, self-contained building ensemble already had been described in the invitation to the architect’s competition. Not a symbolic volume that reaches far into the sky – far more the expectations focused on a spacious and flexible structure of equal structures that can react to change processes within the group.

With regard to these requirements, the joint design by JSWD Architects and Chaix & Morel et Associés prevailed among the 105 other competition entrants. The step from the “consistent ensemble” to the design idea of a campus architecture was only small, but forceful.

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photos from architects

The ThyssenKrupp Quarter consists of an arrangement of individual buildings embedded into a green carpet lined with trees. The buildings outline the central axis with the large water basin and are within short distances from each other. As a tribute to these higher-level characteristics of urban planning, JSWD Architects and Chaix & Morel place great importance on the architectural perfection of the individual buildings. The goal was to create a quarter with a compact and homogenous architectural appearance. The observer will remember this image of strong unity.

The “shell to core” principle

The overall design principle applied to all new buildings of the campus is referred to as “shell to core”. All buildings of the quarter are composed of L-shaped individual volumes that clasp around a shared centre. Thus, the architecture of the headquarters (Q1) as well as the Q2 forum and neighbouring administration buildings Q5 and Q7 clearly are centring. There are two types of façade: one is oriented towards the centre and the other defines the outside and thus the effect the buildings have on outside facilities.

These outer facades alter the image of the “rough shell”. On building Q1, the horizontal slats of the outside sunshield characterize the “rough shell”. In the forum, the outside sunshield also conveys the architectural idea. Here, bevel-edged perforated metal sheets made from stainless steel represent the universal design idea. On Q5 and Q7 the idea of a “rough shell” is characterized as a playful structure of horizontal and vertical stainless steel slats.

The facades of the atriums and inner courtyard found on a different design idea: Large-format, coloured flat sheets that conclude the façade. Both façade types have a unique charisma; however, their overall effect founds on the interaction of the shell and core. The consistent application of this principle to all buildings of the campus was key to the homogeneous overall impression of the new ThyssenKrupp Quarter that can be felt today.

Q1, the headquarters

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photos from architects

The headquarters, described as Q1 within the ensemble, are the central element of the new ThyssenKrupp Quarters. Fifty metres high, they overlook all other buildings on the campus without dominating them unnecessarily.

Not only the height, far more the characteristic shape lend the building a distinguished status. The geometric twist of the different volumes around a shared centre creates more than an exciting outer appearance. Fascinating room sequences also develop inside the building. The glazed atrium forms the centre. It extends across ten stories and is structured by several intermediate levels and bridges. To the north and south and towards the water axis, two glass landscape windows of 28.1 by 25.6 metres in size conclude the room. They are made up of 96 windowpanes and are held in position by a thin, hardly visible cable construction so the windows appear to be made from a single, large-scale windowpane.

Q2 forum

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photos from architects

The Q2 forum is a place of discussion and thus also the place where project work is exchanged. International project teams work at the forum. This is where the group welcomes its guests. The event hall can accommodate up to 800 people. In addition, the forum unfolds its flair with exciting room sequences of one- and two-storey areas. The three main areas are connected at several locations by shared aerial spaces. The spatial experience and high level of functionality make the forum appealing and make it a magnet on the campus.

Buildings Q5 and Q7

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photos from architects

The sculptural arrangement of the building’s mass also plays a key role as a design element of buildings Q5 and Q7. The spatial arrangement of the two L-shaped volumes that create a building together result from offsets in the ground floor. With deep indentations of the cubature of the upper floors in the shape of loggias or wintergardens, the buildings acquire unexpected accents in comparison to regular administration buildings.

ThyssenKrupp Quarter Essen images / information from JSWD Architekten

ThyssenKrupp Quarter Essen is shortlisted for the LEAF Awards 2011

LEAF Awards : Shortlisted Buildings + Architects

Location: ThyssenKrupp Quarter, Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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