Discover Schüco reference projects worldwide, presented by building type and by location.
Public and Private Sector Office Buildings
Office buildings – whether corporate or government – form an integral part of the world of work, which is why their owners and operators place a premium on getting the most out of every foot of floor space as well as on economic efficiency: here, energy consumption plays an increasingly significant role. The organization of space is no longer confined to standard solutions: office interiors are now customized to meet the needs of individual companies. More and more often, individual, group, team, and large-scale open-plan offices are being combined in order to respond flexibly to changing staff structures. Irrespective of the economic aspects, the work environment strongly influences employee wellbeing and efficiency. Creating lounges and meeting points thus becomes an integral part of architectural planning. Such spaces provide architects with an opportunity to give the buildings they design greater individual character. When this works, architecture and design become factors in corporate success.
A further key to success is the integration of modern energy and façade technology into the entire building concept – and into the way buildings are operated in future. This permits use-based optimization of energy consumption, with no need to sacrifice comfort. By the same token, a building that is both ecologically and economically viable projects a forward-looking, socially responsible corporate image.
Commercial and industrial buildings
Commercial and industrial buildings have to meet certain functional criteria to enable the manufacture and distribution of goods. Modern production facilities bring together knowledge and craftsmanship in a nexus of creativity and productivity. Thanks to intelligent window and façade technology and the integration of photovoltaic, solar thermal and flexible sunshade systems, contemporary factories and commercial buildings can be run today in a highly energy-efficient, cost-effective manner.
Here, construction components are employed as reticulating and design elements, for, apart from its purely functional aspects, good architecture fosters identification both within and without. Faceless industrial parks and commercial zones on the outskirts of town
belong to the past. The long intermediate phase that separated the splendid secular cathedrals of the Industrial Revolution from
modern commercial and industrial architecture is over and down with.
At long last, planners and architects once again face the challenge of designing commercial and industrial buildings that meet the full range of functional, environmental and economic imperatives – as well, of course, as architectural sophistication.
Individuality, wellbeing and comfort are the sine qua non of modern hotel design. It doesn’t matter if a hotel caters principally to holiday makers or business travellers, whether it specializes in wellness or spa treatments, or whether its guests are looking for high-end luxury or are more budget-minded. Today, everything revolves around creating an individual atmosphere and providing
individual service. Guests should feel instantly at home: whatever they expect to find in their hotel or in their room should be available immediately and easy to find.
Architects and interior designers have evidently discovered the special appeal of this sophisticated planning task. More and more hotels are turning to truly good architecture and a coherent overall concept as ways of standing out in their star category.
An intelligent, efficient energy concept that takes hotel capacity utilization into account has become a matter of course. As a critical element in determining energy consumption, the façade forms an integral part of this concept. The façade thus becomes a dual “trademark”, standing not only for good architecture but also for responsible management of resources.
Cultural buildings are special places: museums, theatres, galleries and exhibition halls provide space for contemporary and historical art and culture. Visitors expect a suitable atmosphere in which art takes centre stage, and can be appreciated without distraction or disturbance.
This requires an architecture which, in the exhibition rooms, is self-effacing, but outwardly speaks a clear iconographic language. For architects this obviously presents a very special task. In designing a museum or theatre, architects and planners often create a building which is a work of art in its own right. Besides these cultural and artistic aspects, there are specific functional features and requirements to consider. Objects displayed in museums often require a special environment in which the interior climate and natural and artificial light can be completely controlled. Internal space should be highly flexible, enabling new forms of exhibition and presentation to flourish. Finally, the overall energy concept should emphasize long-term sustainability, especially since the lifespan of cultural buildings frequently exceeds that of normal structures.
Investors, architects and planners thus have a special duty to ensure that cultural buildings – which sometimes stand for centuries – strike a fruitful balance between form, function and environmental sustainability.
In the modern world, we actively structure our leisure time. People today consciously chose to spend more and more of their free time in cinema complexes, stadiums, sport halls, water parks and fitness centres. In essence, the individualization of society has gone hand-in-hand with the individualization of leisure. Multifunctional leisure complexes offer space for actively structuring our leisure activities. Here, the wishes and desires of the individual flow into a communal experience, which depends on the communicative potential of sports facilities and leisure buildings. Thanks to their compact design, modern football stadiums are able to transform thousands of individuals into a enthusiastic fan community. In fitness centres, clever planning enables individual training while still fostering intercommunication. A wellness spa likewise creates intimate spaces as well as scope for social interaction.
Moreover, leisure facilities require a high degree of functionality and energy efficiency; otherwise, even the most cost conscious planning can result in higher-thanexpected operating expenses. Thermal insulation glazing, intelligent sunshade systems, technology and the integration of geothermal, photovoltaic and solar thermal solutions all help to cut energy and operating costs. The market offers architects and professional planners generous scope for a whole host of exciting new planning tasks.
The World of Shopping
The world of retail is dominated today by shopping centres, malls, boutiques, big-box stores and specialty markets. In the past, these were located on the outskirts of towns, taking advantage of the convenient highway infrastructure. But today, urbanisation is drawing people into the city centres. Such projects in inner city areas present their own special challenges. People want to buy goods as part of an exciting shopping experience, with eyecatching and colourful displays.
Increasingly, department stores and supermarkets are departing from the concept of the closed box, instead opening up façades to make them light and airy. Brand-name companies are now focusing on the space as an experience and, above all, on unusual architecture – moving away from the warehouse look of the 1960s, towards a vibrant shopping experience. Throughout the ages, in fact, shopping centres have been more than glittering temples of consumption. They have their origins in bustling market squares where jugglers and minstrels would perform, whilst traders and grocers would sell their wares. The town would grow up around these market squares. Without a town, there would be no market square, and without a market square, no town. Today, shopping centres essentially become cities within the city.
Shopping centres require a large amount of energy, which was previously of secondary importance to the display of goods. Today, however, investors and operators also keep a close eye on running costs, with architects and developers doing their utmost to optimise energy consumption and running costs.
Educational and Research Facilities
In a nationwide competition for pupils, students, jobs and funding, Germany’s schools, universities and research centres are rebranding themselves as technology parks and high-tech campuses. One aspect of this is the growing awareness of energy and building technology issues. Active photovoltaic and thermal exploitation of solar or geothermal energy has become a normal feature of many educational and research facilities, improving energy balances and lowering operating costs. Moreover, they provide a concrete example of environmentally responsible behaviour, reminding pupils and the public how important it is not to waste our resources.
Apart from the environmental and financial aspects, these buildings need to embody certain logistical and infrastructure concepts which promote and support the didactic aims of teaching and learning. They have to include space for communicating as well as space for concentrated study. The degree of complexity and the challenges confronting planners are commensurate with the growing intensity of scientific research. Today such facilities require extensive laboratories, clean rooms and other special infrastructure.
Finally, educational and research buildings add considerably to a country’s or community’s cultural and political prestige. Showing visitors around a new college, university clinic or library can be a source of immense pride.
Process-oriented and interdisciplinary, modern hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and medical centres have become highly specialized, state-of-theart buildings. A wide variety of budgetary, political and administrative considerations influence the construction of hospitals. As if these imperatives were not problematic enough, architects face the added challenge of having to design buildings that support the process of healing, creating a space where patients feel calm, cosy and safe. Light, air, harmony with the landscape, form and colour, the use of familiar materials and pleasing proportions – all of these things help to make patients feel more comfortable as well as helping to motivate doctors and care providers.
Today doctor’s offices and clinics face increasing financial pressures. Apart from creating buildings that are functionally ergonomic and meet a variety of social, architectural and urban design expectations, architects have to produce intelligent concepts for reducing operating costs, including shorter distances, the flexible use of space or the application of advanced energy-saving façade technology. The trick lies in finding adequate scope for good architecture in spite of the complex requirements.
Transport infrastructure encompasses buildings such as airports, train stations, parking garages and port facilities. These are often huge, highly complex structures, whose owners and operators have high expectations with regard to security, functionality, comfort, economic efficiency and sustainability.
Their environmental and energy footprint is massive. Thus, looking beyond mere cost considerations, architects, investors and planners need to be acutely mindful of the welfare of future generations. The use of thermally insulated façades, intelligent sunshade and ventilation concepts and/or the integration of photovoltaic modules on roofs and façades can lead to significantly lower energy consumption and running costs for decades to come. Transport-related buildings often dominate urban landscapes, and can determine the economic fortunes of whole regions. As in centuries past, transport infrastructure such as major train stations, inland and maritime port facilities and logistics centres are among the most lasting manmade structures of the modern age, which is why it so important for planners and builders to ensure their long-term sustainability.
The different ways people live constitute a society’s cultural and social fingerprint, as well as shedding light on the residential preferences of its individual members.
Among the tasks facing architects and planners today is the need to implement the individual requirements and desires of their patrons while simultaneously keeping future operating costs in mind.
As opposed to previous decades, when insulation was the primary means of conserving energy, architects today have a whole host of domestic energy-saving possibilities at their disposal. These include the intelligent orientation of residential dwellings, coupled with energy saving insulation techniques and modern heating based on energy-generating photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, resulting in a exponential, mutually reinforcing improvement in energy performance.
It helps architects that the modern idea of a high-end home has changed in recent decades. Comfort, luxury, security and individuality are no longer the sole items on their patrons’ wish lists. A house can be a personal political statement: many patrons want their home to reflect their own heightened awareness of environmental issues and the need to use energy responsibly. Requiring sophisticated planning, this is an important task for architects, due not least to its significant social impact.