The architect’s office heri&salli from Vienna designed on behalf of the façade design company “FOBface of buildings” a new office building made of wood in Burgenland/Austria. Though normally a place dedicated to “work”, the concept of quality of life and leisure culture took an integral part in the planning process. The traditional aspect of “going to work” therefore has received minor consideration.

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Architecture  / design: heri&salli
Team: Klaus Molterer
Client: FOB – face of buildings Start of construction:autumn 2012
Finished: winter 2013
Detail planing: RWT plus ZT GmbH
Construction planing: Architekturbüro Piniel, FOB,  heri&salli Wood
Construction: Holzbau Oswald GmbH
Metal work / furniture:StahlundForm
Builder: Pfnier & Co GmbH
Building physics: Dr. Pfeiler GmbH
Building services: Karner Haustechnik GmbH
Electric: Elektro Heißenberger
Facade: Alu König Stahl
Panel-beater: Spenglerei + Glaserei Moser GmbH
Elevator technic: Aufzüge Friedl GmbH

OFFICE OFF By Heri&Salli - Sheet1Integrated meeting points, attached living and relaxation areas, as well as a gym, a fire pond converted into a swimming pool, common outdoor areas and a climbing wall in the three storey high entrance hall strive to represent the task “work” in a living environment -OFFICE OFF!

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By considering modern energetic and technical solutions, which aim to reach energetic independence the building achieves a sustainable and economic reference to its environment. It was very important to embed the building in an equilibrated ecological relation with its inhabitants.

From the material point of view a compressed climate envelope was integrated in a spatial grid structure, departing from the boundaries of the property as a plane piece of land. If we understand and use the grid structure as a spatial possibility of a functional expansion, the shell is a kind of membrane lying in between, that is broken again and again, without leaving the outlined area. At the blurred borders of the shell, similar to cracks, as well as through purposefully arranged cubes light filters into the enclosed interior.

OFFICE OFF By Heri&Salli - Sheet3All interior furnishing like work-tables, conference tables, shelves, wardrobe, etc …including sleeping bunks was designed individually.

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The entire construction of the building was realized in wood; the interior made of spruce, the exterior of larch and the roof of Canadian pine wood. Parts of the cubes were covered with Alucobond. The horizontal axis measure for the beam and support construction was erected on a 5×5 m grid with an internal disc-shaped core made of solid wood panels. The elevator pioneers as the first elevator in the core of a wood structure meeting the required fire safety regulations.

The outer shell was built of prefabricated stable panel elements made of a timber frame construction. The visible support and beam construction defines the basic grid of the building extension and can be used as mounting aid for façade prototypes, climbing scaffold and if necessary as support structure for sun sails in front of large glazing.

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OFFICE OFF By Heri&Salli - Sheet4Energetic concept:

The energetic and technical concept is aimed to achieve energetic independence, as far as possible. With a wall mounting of 52 cm the shell achieves a very low heat transition coefficient. The whole building has a heating performance of 15KW.

A log-wood heating system is supplied by the farmers of the surrounding area and is refilled by the employees twice a week. From the building-physics point of view the average demand for wood was about 40-45m3 per heating season. In this case, after one year the demand has gone down to 14m3.

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In the summer months the building is regulated by night cooling. By means of a BUS system the sliding windows of the cubes are opened and closed depending on the outside temperature. The forest slope behind the building flushes fresh air through the building whenever needed; this effect can be optimally exploited. The use of triple glazing sliding system-Schüco (unique in Europe) reinforced with fiberglass profiles (heat transition coefficient 0,5 W/m2K) regulates the necessary cross ventilation. Wind measurements had already been carried out prior to the construction phase. Throughout the day CO2 values are constantly measured, and if required the room air is changed and the staircases are ventilated by parallel hinged windows. Further, the system is monitored by a weather station.

OFFICE OFF By Heri&Salli - Sheet5

85% of the roof is covered with photovoltaic plants. The produced electricity is used directly in the office rooms, but also stored for emergencies. Any remaining excess energy is transferred to the public network, leaving the building operating power-autonomously.

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The swimming pool is heated by the excess heat from the cooling system and  on the other hand the server is cooled with the water of the fire pond. Rain water is collected in a shaft and if required can be introduced into the pipes.

Social concerns

During the planning phase the employees of the company were included in the conception and possible additional values of a “worklandscape” were explained to them. This was considered in the previously mentioned additional leisure functions and can be seen as the most important work philosophy of the company FOB.

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A gym was financed by the employees and eventual rents for the studios will cover the construction costs in the foreseeable future. Company cars, if changed, will be replaced by E-cars. Employees that live within 10km distance from the office will get bikes.

OFFICE OFF By Heri&Salli - Sheet6The remaining area of 5000m2 green space will be used to create a vegetable garden including the keeping of animals (donkeys, sheep, chickens, geese,…); realization is expected in 2015. The farming will be done after consultation also by the employees, the necessary effort will be 2 -3 hours a week for every employee and in return they will have access to the harvest.

Since 2004 Heribert Wolfmayr (1973) and Josef Saller (1971) – heri&salli – have been working on architectonic, spatial and temporary concepts that only achieve their objectives when the completed object is presented to other people. The material acquires meaning and purpose through having counterparts. Time and time again, it is human beings who make up the active part of the reason behind an architectonic concept.

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The most important awardsthey have received for their concepts and realisations have been the ORF Art Award in 2002, the Salzburg Wood Construction Award in 2003 in the category of special constructions, the Architectural Promotional Award from the Region of Salzburg in 2004, a nomination for the “Adolf Loos Staatspreis” in 2005, award-winners in the “Central Glass International Design Competition” in Tokyo in 2005, the Architecture Prize of the Region of Upper Austria in 2008, the City of Vienna Prize in

2009, the “Europe 40 under 40” Architects Award in 2009, a recognition prize in Carinthian Wood Construction Award in 2011, “Best Digital Exhibition Award” at the 9th International Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo in 2011, the Architecture Award of the Region of Burgenland in 2014 and the Austrian Property Developer Prize in 2014 for the project OfficeOff and AITaward – Best in Interior and Architecture 2016, Special Mention Outstanding Artist Award Design 2016 and the „Price of the City of Vienna“ for Architecture 2018.

They have participated inexhibitionsat Salzburg Künstlerhaus, Vienna MAK, Vienna Künstlerhaus, Architectural Biennale in Beijing in 2004, Aedes Gallery in East Berlin, Palace of the Republic, SAM in Basel, Archidocumenta / Documenta 12 in Kassel, DAC Danish Architecture Centre, Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castellón, Architekturforum OÖ (afo) in Linz, 9th International Architectural Biennale in Sao Paulo 2011, Architekturzentrum Wien (AZW), East-Centric Architecture Triennale in Bucharest in 2013; CANactions Architecture Festival in Kiev in 2014; 14th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 and in 2015 with the exhibition ARCHITECTURE OF SLEEPING at the Galerie Aedes/Berlin.

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Guest professorship: space&designstrategies, 2009/10 – University of Art, Linz Lectureships: ViennaUniversity of Technology; Graz University of Technology; International Summer Academy in Salzburg, University of Applied Arts Vienna.


Architektur ZT GmbH
Morizgasse 8/9
A-1060 Vienna
Tel.: 0043.1.9078299 Fax.: 0043.1.907809

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022