s.Oliver Headquarters by German firm KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten is a winning project in 2006 and built in 2008. The design aims to give the new building an identity and reflect the s.Oliver Group’s dynamism and zeitgeist.
+ Project description courtesy of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
The new building housing the headquarters of the s.Oliver Group in Rottendorf near Würzburg provided an opportunity to construct a tailor-made building that provided an identity and reflected the company’s dynamism and zeitgeist. The design that was implemented does justice to this and fulfills the following overarching goals:
- A symbol of the s.Oliver Group on its own grounds
- A working environment that promotes and radiates creative output
- A communicative and inviting edifice
- Flexible, cost-effective office space
The location of the s.Oliver Group in Rottendorf is dominated by a heterogeneous ensemble of buildings. Large logistics buildings and offices set the tone of the site. The basic idea of the identity-giving headquarters sets new standards for the urban planning arrangement, thereby creating excitement and not uniformity. The design adopts the principle and consistently develops it through its independent formulation of the building.
Pure & Basic – A pure and functionally optimized building provides space for creativity and ideas so that nothing stands in the way of visions. The clear, restrained formal language serves as a projection surface and passepartout for the S.Oliver fashion world. The large shape liberates itself in contrast with the volume of the logistics halls surrounding it. The inserted courtyards structure the building and link it to the campus. With their inviting gesture they emphasize the building’s openness. Large windows accentuate the sculpture and orchestrate the inner world of the headquarters.
A compact edifice is divided by two inserted courtyards. The one on the east references the adjoining existing building and creates a green recreation zone that spills onto the mini-park that follows the course of the brook. This enables both buildings to be experienced as belonging together. The northern courtyard houses the foyer with the main entrance, which is emphasized by the focal point of the raised shape. Highlighted flooring extending from inside the foyer to the car park gives visitors here “the red carpet treatment” and guides them inside. A uniform surface turns the building sections into a single main unit. Individual building sections are divided off by insertions in the volume. The building’s facades are given additional structure by means of an emphasis on individual zones.
Materiality and the Facade
High-quality finishes are inline with the company’s standards.
Horizontal strips dominate the building’s appearance. In areas with anodized aluminum balustrades the strips in window areas are alternating flush rotary wings and window glazing, as well as windows on all the building corners. On the inside, design rules. Stylish furniture serves as an eye catcher from afar and creates everyday meeting points. The interior finishes were selected with the leitmotiv of the pure and functional in mind and in line with the high standards. On the walls white dominates, in combination with the fair-faced concrete surface of the load-bearing elements: supports and cores. In the foyer and communicative areas the floor comprises large-format slabs of natural stone. The offices were given industrial smoked oak parquet flooring. The exposed conference room above the entrance was fitted with a highly floral in red, the corporate color.
A flexible department structure enables central access.
The communicative zones with the adjoining communal facilities and the central access form the focal point of the building. A spectacular oval staircase and two elevators link all the storeys with the foyer. The ideal and efficient alignment of the requisite stairwells enables short vertical communication paths.
Small-section layout creates flexible-use wings.
The footprint enables a wide range of office types but nonetheless functions ideally for the open-plan offices initially envisaged. Access channels running through the foyer, which is the height of the entire building, enable four facility units at the end of each of the storeys with no through pedestrian traffic. These units are intended for combination and open-plan areas. Various departmental structures and connecting areas can be created by means of coupling zones.
Flexible-use sets of two offices – With standard-size views the work areas are located along the façade. The contour of the building is conceived to be as long as possible to create the maximum amount of naturally lit space. Alongside the infrastructure the middle of the building, its communicative center, houses the sanitary areas, access points, as well as meeting points, lounges, and flexible-use areas. These zones are allocated to the inserted courtyards so as to guarantee natural lighting that corresponds to their use. Across this middle zone users can choose their own routes between the departments and their own furnishing configurations.
Clear structuring of the building into usage units – The building is divided into seven large units 210-400 sq. m. in size. As such the individual areas can be divided up or furnished without any special fire prevention measures. The escape routes consist of four mandatory stairwells and an escape balcony. The mandatory corridors are kept to a minimum.
Load-Bearing Structure Building
The five-storey administration building represents a compact, almost rectangular edifice, which on two sides is intersected by up to 17-meter wide courtyards. Throughout the building this produces 14-meter wide wings, which are structured by rows of peripheral and room supports. As of the first floor these supports bear 30-centimeter thick flat ceilings used for concrete core cooling. There are no room supports o the ground floor and the most extreme row of peripheral supports is positioned further inside. This enables girders to absorb the missing room supports on the ground floor. Two stairwells and a stair and elevator core brace the building against horizontal forces.
Energy-Efficiency and Sustainability
The ceilings in the building boast high-performance core concrete cooling. Being installed close to the ceiling they ensure maximum performance. The ventilation system selected enables a heat recovery rate clearly in excess of 80%. In order to make use of geothermal energy 60 depth probes each 90 meters long were deposited in the ground. In conjunction with heat pumps these provide heating in winter and cooling in summer, such that the building has no recourse to fossil fuels. Great importance was placed on environmental compatibility in the selection of materials. No tropical woods were used. The wood and stone employed originated and were produced in Germany and Europe.
+ Project credits / data
Architect: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
Project: s.Oliver Headquarters
Location: Rottendorf, Würzburg, German
Client: s.Oliver Bernd Freier GmbH & Co. KG
Floor area: 13,800 m²
Cubic: 53.300 m³
Competition: 08/2006, 1st prize
Photographer: Jean-Luc Valentin