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Global Office + Business

JBC Headquarter, Houthalen-Helchteren/B  
Buro B architecture + interior design, Genk/B

In Belgium, Luxembourg and France, the fashion chain JBC has been well-known and very successful for years. The family business, which was founded in 1975, has now built itself a new company headquarters in Houthalen-Helchteren. The design of the L-shaped, four-storey newbuild with the long, curved façade follows the principle of an open floor plan. On the ground floor there are communal areas, such as an atrium and canteen; a central, solid access core leads to the upper floors, in which open areas of interaction alternate continually with individual and open-plan offices as well as meeting rooms. A "belt" clad with black mineral wool panels meanders along the entire length of the façade. Vertical, 360-mm-deep louvre blades are positioned in front of the intermediate glass surfaces implemented with the FW50+ system as a design feature, and provide both screening and solar shading.

Bonneshof Office Center, Düsseldorf/DE
RKW Architekten Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky, Düsseldorf/DE

By creating additional space and complementing the design of a neighbouring office building, the new Bonneshof Office Center in the Golzheim district of Düsseldorf dovetails perfectly with the existing building to create a unique architectural feature. The priority of the design was to create as many opportunities as possible to look out across the surrounding parkland and to make reference to the green external space. The interior is interlinked via a joint connecting hall, and both buildings are characterised by a clear arrangement of rooms and large access corridors. The façade is another key component of the design. It is a special glass façade construction based on the Schüco AWS 75 BS.HI system, in which floor-to-ceiling windows with black photovoltaic panes and white solar shading panels alternate, thus lending the exterior interface a design and energy-related function.

Hahn+Kolb Werkzeuge, Ludwigsburg/DE
Sigrid Hintersteininger Architekten, Stuttgart/DE

With its new sales, technology and logistics centre, HAHN+KOLB Werkzeuge GmbH represents an architectural gateway to the Weststadt district of Ludwigsburg. The characteristic form of the buildings is intended to embody dynamism and innovation, two aspects of the company’s philosophy. In addition, the sloping façades create a dialogue between the low buildings in an adjacent allotment garden area and the urban context and also assume an urban planning function. The main office building rises from ground level to the green roof at an angle of 45°, is fully glazed on its remaining three sides and is thus designed to be open at the interface to the outside world as well as on the inside. The south-facing, sloping façades are fitted with photovoltaic units. The striking shape of the buildings is therefore the basis for sustainable energy generation. The buildings even meet the passive house standard thanks to the use of high-tech materials, a further important requirement in the design process.

Baltic Hearts business center, Vilnius/LT
Audrius Ambrasas architects, Vilnius/LT

"Baltic Hearts" is the name of the office complex on Ukmergés Street in Vilnius, which was completed in 2014. Built on a slope, it comprises three identical volumes with idiosyncratic cubatures. The first storey of the three "hearts", which are angled to a degree towards each other, is set back; slanted steel supports bear the weight of the following two storeys, whose rounded, vertical curtain walling (Schüco FW 50+.HI) – which is based on the sides of a Releaux triangle – dominates the appearance of the building. The fourth storey is also glass, though set back like the base. The in-situ concrete roof and the ceiling of the ground floor visually encapsulate the volume. The architect Audrius Ambrasas took local conditions into account with the low design. "Baltic Hearts" is integrated discreetly yet self-confidently in the panorama of the beautiful Lithuanian capital.