The commercial building is semi-detached at the end of the block: two distinct building volumes at the two main elevations form two heterogeneous opposites – bronze and glass versus render; pitched roof versus recessed penthouse floor; angled versus rounded – and face the historic buildings on the other side with their contrasting elements, forming different city spaces with them.
Neuhauser Strasse building
Opposite the “Alte Akademie”, the building creates a new urban space. The corner development is dominated by a bronze and glass curtain wall façade, which, in the upper floors, envelops the building as a non-tectonic cloak of pilaster strips of varying widths. In contrast, the bronze pillars on the ground floor continue through to the roof in five places only, and mark the historic plots. The other pillars are arranged in a specific order on the lower two floors and correspond with that of the attic floor, which also features an independent rhythm of pilaster strips of varying widths. The glazing of the shop windows on the ground and first floors is fitted flush with the outside of the metal pilasters, thus revealing their sculptural quality only on the inside.
Altheimer Eck building
Opposite St Anna, continuity with the adjoining and opposite developments has been achieved with a solid tectonic building, without imitation. The theme on the rear – with its largely closed façade – is structured in the form of a large-scale relief with only a few open windows and a primarily blind window structure. In order to achieve a façade without construction joints, it was constructed in reinforced concrete including a 20 cm thick intermediate insulation layer.
The third façade, which has as much a separating function as it has a connecting one, is purely a blind façade. It is characterised by display windows on the ground floor and a suspended curtain wall façade in bronze on the upper floors. The patinated metal has been folded in irregular patterns and forms a relief along the narrow Eisenmannstrasse. In this way it adopts the type and material of the main façade while also relating to the sculptural relief of the rendered rear façade. All bronze elements used in the building consist of 2 mm thick brass sheeting with a CuZn37 alloy. In total approx. 45 tonnes of brass were used for the project. Some of the sheets are up to 4 m long. Each individual sheet was dipped in its completed shape into two different patinating liquid baths in sequence using a manual process; between dips the panels were cleaned by hand, polished and protected against corrosion with a special wax solution.