Horten Headquarters | 3XN

• December 7, 2009

Horten 3XN plusMOOD 01 595x452 Horten Headquarters | 3XN

Horten Headquarters, image courtesy of 3XN

Danish architectural studio 3XN recently has completed the head office for Danish law firm Horten in Copenhagen, DK. The project has been developed as an energy saving building which is featuring the three dimensional façade in fiberglass and travertine, it acts as a screen against the sun while still providing a view to the water.

+ Project description courtesy of 3XN

Danish law firm Horten wanted their new headquarters to present itself in a contemporary as well as classical and solid way. Our solution was to design a modern office with a new interpretation of the classical stone-clad facade.

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Horten Headquarters, image courtesy of 3XN

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Horten Headquarters, image courtesy of 3XN

Inside, the building appears light and open with a flexible structure encouraging informal meetings and knowledge sharing. The dynamic atmosphere is intensified by the complex and innovative exterior expression.

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Horten Headquarters, image courtesy of 3XN

A unique façade design was developed in order to set new standards within sustainable solutions. The three dimensional façade in fiberglass and travertine works as a screen against the sun while still providing a view to the water. In this way, the architecture itself is actually the main contributor to the energy savings of the building.

+ Facade / Material design idea

Unique Three Dimensional Facade in Fibreglass and Travertine

The completion of the distinctive Horten Headquarters on Tuborg Harbor signals successful realization of two years’ research and development on innovation in building facades. Horten headquarters is the new head office for the Danish law firm Horten, and the building incorporates a range of innovative sustainable solutions that do not require compromises regarding the aesthetic objectives in the architectural design.

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Horten Headquarters, image courtesy of 3XN

The building is a good example of how environmentally friendly objectives can be combined with beautiful architecture

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Creative Director and Founder of 3XN

Shape which Saves Energy

From the start, the objective was to design a building that didn’t just live up to the existing energy saving requirements, but that set new standards in surpassing these environmental regulations in the building code.

In order to shield against overheating, it was necessary to design the building in such a way that it is closed to the south and opened to the north. Because of the three dimensional relief, the facade works as a screen against the sun, thus allowing a pleasant office temperature. This is done while still providing a view to the water with each office having its own individually framed ‘bow’.

In other words, it is the architecture itself that has contributed most to energy savings in this building; the building’s orientation and the facade’s three-dimensional self shielding design.

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Horten Headquarters, image courtesy of 3XN

New Materials

With its unique design, the facade is also unique in its material composition. To adapt to the special geometry, it was natural to design using new and innovative building materials and methods.

If the same facade was to be built using traditional construction methods (ie. steel frames), it would be a challenge to build each element separately and therefore difficult to keep uniformity. By contrast, by taking the decision to build completely out of fibreglass, it becomes possible to mass produce with much fewer discrepancies amongst the various building elements.

In our research, we found several relevant references to ships and windmills – but no building projects with self-supporting and insulating fibreglass elements

Bo Boje Larsen, Architect and Partner in 3XN

The production method using fibreglass has been well known in many capacities, which allows for accurate projections and the know-how to actually design with it. The ‘innovation’ has been integrating fibreglass into building design.

The end result is a facade design which consists of two layers of fibreglass composite, with a highly insulated core of foam; upon which is placed an outer layer of travertine.

Optimal Design

In order to keep within the budget, it was necessary to design a facade with as many repetitions as possible without losing the unique expression of the building. Making the floor slab design zig-zag shaped allows for a very rational and efficient way of attaching the facade. In addition, by making optimal use of the moulds, it is made possible to realize the complex geometry without compromising the original architectural vision.

Two years of research and development doesn’t really feel like hard work when we begin to see the results take form. The hardest challenges have actually been the most fun. In fact, it is these challenges that enrich the experience of an architect,

Olaf Kunert, an Architect on the project at 3XN

+ Project credits / data

Project: Horten Headquarters
Address: Bygning 111, Tuborg Syd, 2900 Hellerup, DK
Assignment: Acquisition
Completion: 2009
Size: 10.000 m²
Budget: DKK250m

Architect: 3XN
Project Team:
The facade was developed in collaboration with Pihl, Rambøll and Skandinaviska Glassystem AB.
The Architects involved in the project by 3XN are: Kim Herforth Nielsen, Bo Boje Larsen, Dorthe Toft Boesen, Jeanette Hansen, Olaf Kunert, Torsten Wang, Jakob Ohm Lauersen, Dag Præstegaard, Gry Kjær, Anders Brinck, Robin Vind Christiansen, Mogens Bruun Jepsen, Carsten Olsen, and Sune Mogensen

Engineer: Rambøll
Client: Carlsberg Ejendomme
Photographer: Adam Mørk

+ All images courtesy of 3XN

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Category: Architecture, Office, Selected

Comments (6)

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  1. [...] staircases in a circular opening. Love the way they criss-cross. Via +mood AKPC_IDS += "943,";Subscribe to the comments for this post?Tweet This!Share this on FacebookShare [...]

  2. Patty says:

    Those photos are so nice. If that was one of the companies that I work for, I think people would be playing on the stairs all day.

  3. [...] Horten headquarters by 3XN architects [...]