In response to this sitation the individual parts of the complex – forecourt, main building, yard and storage area – are laid out in a linear fashion, parallel to the contours of the slope. The approach road and main entrance are on an upper level oriented towards the railway, whereas the yard is on the lower level and is closed off towards the river by a long sheltered storage area that is open on the side facing the yard.
The Building, a new type, was developed for the main building. A richly folded roof surface is laid over the stepped storeys of the building. It encases the two different parts of the business – the workshop and the offices – and combines them to create a characteristic overall form. Thanks to its striking silhouette this form confidently shapes the company’s corporate identity, while at the same time the stepping of the building allows it to be integrated in a restrained manner in the sensitive area along the River Aare.
Its copper envelope with a greenish patina reflects the shades of colour found in the riparian landscape.
The different room depths produced by the stepped form make possible a flexible layout of the different functions such as cellular and open plan offices as well as communal spaces. The interiors are characterised by the use of natural materials such as wood and exposed concrete, at places enhanced with a white glaze.
In the staircase the concrete walls and ceilings are glazed in light blue, green and yellow, a reference to the company’s corporate identity. Load-bearing structure and facades The columns and ceiling slabs are of in situ concrete while the facades and roofs were prefabricated as timber elements.
The facade cladding of sheet copper made with the use of traditional skills gives the building a great precision of detail that is far removed from everyday industrial buildings.
The house meets Minergie standards. Heating energy is produced with a geothermal heat pump. A thermo-active building element system (TABS) as well as mechanical ventilation with a heat recovery system provide a balanced internal climate in summer and winter. The building is sustainable thanks to its low energy consumption, the use of long-life, low-maintenance, recyclable materials and the flexible way in which its spaces can be subdivided.