A real estate company’s corporate headquarters, located at the city’s highest traffic entrance, brings clarity and conciseness and acts as a new landmark to a transitioning industrial area within an emerging district. The projects main ambition was to create an authentic example of “Built Identity” within the context of a seven-story building, incorporating the client’s logo icon throughout the building elevation. The project name, CUBEND, translates firm values by unifying the words “cube,” relating to wholeness and persistence, plus “bend,” standing for movement and dynamics. The building’s surface visibly reveals the interaction between people and spaces, as well as their needs, in contrast to sealed industrial structures of the surrounding neighborhood. This energy efficient, activity-based, and identity-enhancing building reveals visibly on its surface the interaction between people, space, and technology.
Project name: C&P CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
Architect Name: INNOCAD architecture
Client: C&P Immobilien AG
Location: Graz, AUSTRIA
Floor Space: 2465 m²
Construction Start: / 2016
Completion: / 2017
Construction Cost: EUR 4.4 million incl. interior, furniture & exterior
Project Team: Patrick Handler
Jörg Kindermann, Martin Lesjak, Elisabeth Krammer, Dominik Gladik
Photographer: Paul Ott
Organized as a cube and divided by a curved atrium across all floors, the building consists of a glassdominated core within a floating concrete structure. The white concrete outer grid integrates an automatic sun shading system that adjusts with building usage, time, seasons, and surroundings. The facade’s second part, a porch-like area, serves people as a transition space between indoors and outdoors. A third, transparent layer allows natural light access to fragmented office space formations around an elongated atrium. This multilayered system includes different structural and functional elements for its users, as well energy-efficient solutions for the building.
One of the main challenges of the space planning was meeting the multiple requirements – foyer, customer area with an apartment mock up, meeting rooms, open workspaces, creative spaces, and a social area for the employees or corporate events and lectures – throughout 2000 square meters organized over seven floors. Thus, the layout of the space was optimized in a rectangular grid around the atrium, connecting all floors as a vertical communication interface.
A central building core includes a staircase and elevator, as well as all building technologies, and distributes those outwards to the office space through a mesh-like suspended ceiling. This new ceiling system, which meets the spatial, aesthetic, and acoustic demands, was developed and customized for the building. With the aim to create an inspiring and healthy workplace by harmonizing the physical, virtual, and social world of work, biophilic aspects were implemented in the interior and exterior concept, which includes plants, rooftop-terrace, porches, and the buildings foreyard.
SUSTAINABILITY & MATERIALS
C&P Corporate Headquarters´ entire energy demand is reduced through a well-conceived architectural typology. Overall, the precise cubical building volume minimizes heat and cooling effort through its compactness. The atrium enables a natural cross ventilation throughout all levels, where warm exhaust air is drawn upwards and replaced by cool, fresh air from below (summer night cooling). In spite of the building’s depth, the curved atrium´s glass roof allows natural light to access all levels, thus minimizing the need for artificial lighting. Even so, the whole building is equipped with an energy efficient LED lighting system.
The constructive sun shading and circulating porches with 2m cantilever protect against direct sunlight in the summer months when the sun is at its highest. However, the room-high glazing achieves solar energy gains from the low sun in the winter. The automated sun shading screens, mounted on the concrete grid, form a closed, air-conditioning buffer for the 2 m glass facade behind.
The sun screen is controlled by sensors and reacts automatically to the position of the sun, and can be temporarily overridden and individualized if necessary. The preserved old and high broadleaf tree population functions as a natural shading system on the building´s sun-exposed south side in the summer.
The headquarters’ entire demand for energy, needed for heating and cooling, is covered by renewable energy. The generation of energy for heating and cooling is based on geothermal energy use from groundwater by way of a heat exchanger and / or a heat pump. After passing through the heat pump or the heat exchanger, the groundwater is returned via a sump well. The heating and cooling of the space works through three carriable, energy-efficient systems. First, the base load is covered through thermal concrete core activation (cooling and heating coils in the concrete ceiling). Second, a ventilation system with heat recovery preconditions the incoming fresh air. Third, the peak load coverage is carried out on cooling units.
Furniture is partially made from recyclable materials and cradle-to-cradle products were used. During construction, care was taken to ensure that all raw materials (few composited materials) used could be separated and recycled again when the building was dismantled. A very low percentage of petroleum-based products were used for the building’s insulation, given the glass facade is the biggest part of the building´s outer shell, and for the most part, mineral insulation was used when needed.
INNOCAD has completed numerous projects of various sizes and scopes within the fields of architecture and interior design, including residential, office, hospitality, healthcare, mixed-use, educational, public, and retail. Internationally renowned for their “out-of-the-box” thinking, their analytical, pragmatic, and unconventional approach seeks to create solutions with purpose and meaning. The focus is primarily on the work’s quality and relevance, as well as to a responsibility to cultivate a consistent vision – “work with your brain, act from your heart” – practicing within multiple disciplines. INNOCAD operates worldwide, having projects in Europe, North America and the Middle East. The CEO and creative mind behind the firm, Martin Lesjak, received one of the international creative community’s top honors, “Designer of the Year 2015” by Contract Magazine, followed by BUILD Magazine’s “Architect of the Year 2016.” Over the years, INNOCAD has been published and recognized with awards, honors, and nominations in both architecture and interior design.