Effekt is an architectural firm based in Copenhagen and has won the competition of redesigning new headquarters for the German publishing house in Keil, Germany. KielHöfe is a renowned local newspaper that has been functioning as an editorial office and printing press for more than 100 years of legacy in Germany. The publishing house is located on the focal point of the historically significant town, Keil. 

The world is getting advanced over the years, which has led people to float over to digital media rather than reading papers. Thus, lead the house to an obsolete condition. It was the breaking point for the publishing house to get itself redesigned to have a newer outlook, in relevance with the people of Keil.

Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet1
Exterior view of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT
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Aerial view of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

KielHöfe has been a place full of evolution. Ever since then, Media has been taking communication to the next level. This industrial site has now been renowned as a dynamically living mixed hub setting. KielHöfe will become the talk of the town soon, as the people are now invited to be a part of the paper, by intertwining both the urban and the cultural fabric together. KielHöfe has developed a new venture of sharing ideas and unravelling knowledge to different types of user groups.   

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Outdoor view of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

KielHöfe is an 11,000 sq.m mixed-use building through which the 7000 sq.m space in the basement will be utilised as newly transformed spaces and will be made using timber. The ground floor is purely dedicated to public utilities like a large food court, meeting facilities, etc., while the event spaces are in direct connection with the streets and courtyards. Offices and working spaces are above the ground floor.

Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet4
Plan of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

EFFEKT takes references in context with Keil’s unique identity and has unravelled the architectural setting of the town and has evolved the translations in relation to the modern context. The historical towns references were considered to make the studio blend in with the building’s cultural trail. 

Adding to this, also understanding the material usage, ornamentation and detailing was a great plus for the design. The courtyard is planned as a mediating factor for the significant differences between the four adjacent streets. With the thought process of the architect’s team, the place will become a welcoming vibe for the people of Keil to engage in the activities which take place in the new KielHöfe. 

Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet5
Base of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT
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View of the working spaces _©EFFEKT
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Section of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

The main intent of EFFEKT was to make the inner courtyard connect with the network of public spaces allowing it to create one interactive space. The ground floor was designed with a hunch to create a socially interactive space. It has a series of food court spaces with flexible halls for public activities. The office spaces are planned above the ground floor with a series of spaces. The Die rotations Halle has now been renovated into an event space.

Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet8
Roof garden of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

The extension of the rooftop of the printing press has been made into a garden. The roof garden is an appreciable criterion enabling more breathable spaces amidst the urban nuance. The roof garden is connected together, enabling the public to access the entire roof and have a communal interaction with the space. 

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Main strategy of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT
Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet10
Axonometric view of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

We can get a better idea from viewing the image above and how the spaces are planned according to the urban setting. Two new public incisions for public access have also been a great addition to the entrance. The urban lobby allows people to enter into the public spaces from different levels. Entering the main hall from the lobby, one can utilise the flexible spaces which are available to access the Treppenstrasse. The VIP gallery and the backstage area act as a support system for the main hall. Die Rotations Halle is a 50 m Industrial brick building. Through this new programme, the interiors maximise the usage of flexibility and experience. 

Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet11
Entrance view of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

When the site process began, it was just an empty plot with the old office brick building and printing press present at the site. The basement has two underground levels to arbitrate at ease.

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Interior garden view of of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

The landscape connects all urban spaces with the surroundings as one. The courtyard spaces are linked together, each becoming a network of public spaces. A garden for growth was an idea initiated by EFFEKT to make the central patio above the working place create an urban oasis with integrated planters, creating a lush interior environment. The EFFEKT’s play on the sculptural roof gives the users a better indoor experience.

Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper won by EFFEKT Sheet13
Entrance of the KielHöfe _©EFFEKT

The development of KielHöfe, Kieler Nachrichten wanted to create a platform for the makers and the blooming investors of modern Keil. The EFFEKT has created a sustainable, cultural powerhouse environment, allowing the users to join and indulge themselves in sharing their experiences with the help of roof gardens and conservatory spaces. This intervention by EFFEKT will kindle new culture to be an innovative vision for future endeavours to come.

References

ArchDaily. 2021. EFFEKT Wins Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/966726/effekt-wins-competition-to-redesign-the-headquarters-of-german-newspaper> [Accessed 22 August 2021].

ArchDaily. 2021. EFFEKT Wins Competition to Redesign the Headquarters of German Newspaper. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/966726/effekt-wins-competition-to-redesign-the-headquarters-of-german-newspaper> [Accessed 22 August 2021].

Author

Prakriti is an Architecture graduate from MCE, Chennai. She is an enthusiastic person and is passionate towards writing perspectives that are profound and narrative. She gets fascinated by Tadao Ando’s minimalistic approach and loves to explore new avenues of architecture in a sustainable manner.

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