Architecture and Construction
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The plans for the E.ON Energy Research Center provide for a cubic, compact structure positioned on a plane built like terrace into the hillside, which is gently sloping towards the southeast. The plane thus figures as a counterpart to the existing experimental hall. The room layout is organized on four levels. The ground floor features the main entrance and foyer, the adjacent administrative facilities, as well as seminar and meeting rooms. Workshops, laboratories and technology space are found on the basement floor. Office space for the five institutes and a number of smaller CIP pools are located on the first and second floor. The top level consists of the technology floor and PV test field, accessible for teaching processes.
Architectural ConceptPeter Winandy
The entrance of the building is located at the south-west facing façade. It leads into a spacious room connecting voids and staircases, thereby creating an overlap of levels, both from an architectural and a scientific point of view. In the third dimension, in-between spaces emerge which blur the boundaries between institutes and floors. Activities such as reading, studying, relaxing, engaging in scholarly exchanges, and working with a wide array of media all take place under one roof, influencing each other in a positive way. These non-hierarchical spaces provide staff and visitors with a diverse range of possibilities and free spaces.
Material ConceptPeter Winandy
The parapet features ribbon windows combined with dark metal components, ensuring that office space on the upper floors may be arranged in flexible ways. The basement floor, partly underground, features a concrete façade with opening for windows, doors and gates leading into the workshops and laboratories. Each side of the façade will receive a multi-story glass exterior, with common areas behind, which reflects a connection of the building with the surrounding landscape, penetrating it from the inside to the outside. The building´s robust, simple material makeup serves to underscore its workshop character.
Outdoor spaceE.ON ERC
The outdoor facilities surrounding the building are based on the principle of duplicating its succinct character in the outdoor areas. In the forecourt, which forms the entrance to the main level of the E.ON Building, bicycle racks and parking spaces are within easy reach, some of which will be equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles. The trees are arranged as green islets with seating to serve as an outdoor recreation space. To the northwest of the building, a ramp provides access to the delivery area. The geothermal probe field will be integrated into the green areas surrounding the building, which are designed as a wildflower meadow.
The E.ON Research Center will serve users and operators as a sustainable building. To achieve this goal, decisions were made early on in the process to ensure future sustainability in technological and functional terms, as well as in ecological and economic terms. An acoustics strategy has been devised to make sure the acoustic qualities of the rooms correspond to their respective use. The building’s use of regenerative energies helps reduce resource consumption and CO2 emissions, resulting in an improved eco-balance and lower life cycle costs once the building is in use.