Entry Title: " Centre for Virtual Engineering"
Category: Professional, Industrial
Designer(s): UNStudio

Entry Description:

UNStudios design for the Centre for Virtual Engineering (ZVE) applies its research into the potential to expand contemporary understandings of new working environments and affect a design approach that creates working environments which stimulate communication, experimentation and creativity through a new type of office building. Located on the research campus of the Fraunhofer institute in Stuttgart Vaihingen, the Centre for Virtual Engineeringspecializes in the investigation of different multidisciplinary work flows. UNStudio worked in collaboration with ASPlan from Kaiserslautern on the architectural services for the Centre.
All parts of the programme are implemented into the spatial organisation of the building. The diagrammatic approach employed combines the laboratory and research functions with public exhibition areas and a scenographic routing of the visitors in an open and communicative building concept. The geometry of the floor plan, consisting of curved and straight elements, dissolves into the saw tooth geometry of the facade whilst maintaining the effect of a continuously transforming surface.
An exceptional level of sustainability was a key consideration from the outset. The building structure partially consists of bubble deck ceilings, providing both an economical alternative to the more commonly used concrete ceilings and reduction in weight, allowing for column free spaces. The plot for the Centre for Virtual Engineering has been used to its maximum in terms of development potential. The rounded shape and optimised building envelope provides a 7% smaller contour than that of a rectangular form of the same area. This also results in a better facade area to volume ratio. The amount of glass facade is only 32%. All spaces along the facade can be ventilated directly by operable window elements. Ceilings without any lintels make it possible for daylight to reflect deep into the spaces, which are additionally supported by daylight lamellas while the sun screens are down. Low maintenance, separable, and recyclable materials have been used for the skeleton as well as for the interior and facade construction.
The building was awarded a Gold certification by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

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