i+R Group Headquarter, Lauterach (AT)
The new headquarter was designed to unify all companies of the i+R Group under one roof, placing focus on high-quality work environment, sustainable construction methodology, and integration into the urban context. For us it was important to embed the building between the company’s logistics center and the machinery and to create a representative exemplary building that communicates the firm’s efficiency to the outside.
The headquarter was built in the midst of an industrial zone, on a plot bordering the railway tracks and the highway. The building was positioned on the narrowing plot to the east so that it can be seen from the adjacent national road. It is flanked on the south, north and east side by attractive parking lots and landscape with verdant islands.
Client: i+R Gruppe
Location: A-6923 Lauterach, J. Schertler-Str. 1
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Project management: Heiner Walker
Area: 3,300 m² BOMA
Capacity: 150 working units
Awards: 2013 LEED Platinum, 2013 BTV-Client’s Award
structural engineering: Mader & Flatz, Bregenz / HAVCR: Team GMI, Dornbirn / electronics: Lingg, Schoppernau / building physics: Künz, Hard / landscape: Rotzler Krebs, Winterthur /// photos: © Bruno Klomfar
Flexible, self-sufficient Construction
Company-owned products such as concrete for the static components (partly core activated), wood for the infilling construction and wooden windows characterize the construction. The only rigid spatial element is the building core with the sanitary units, kitchenettes, copy rooms as well as technical shafts and escape staircases.
For the offices, we chose an axis grid of 1.6 meters. The two- to six-axle units can cover all space requirements. Underfloor heating panels, window elements and blinds are integrated into this axis grid. All partition walls – both between the offices and on the aisle side – are free of installation to ensure a flexible arrangement.
Each floor has its own power circuit, IT cabling and building services such as ventilation, heating, cooling and water. This modular design enables the floor plan to be redesigned at any time and to use the individual floors separately.
Open Organization around an Atrium
The building’s openness is immediately apparent in the entrance area: The long central interior core, comprising the escape stairways and auxiliary rooms is spacious and has an air of practical elegance. The “large” atrium, which extends to the fourth floor, is repeated in the eastern part of the building by the “small” atrium, which opens over two stories in each case. Here “islands” break through the otherwise very clear and logical spatial structure in order to promote spontaneous communication. Staggered airspaces with bridges and walkways provide transparency and good orientation.
Two staircase units with a sculptural quality extend along the length of the space. Glazed meeting rooms are arranged along the narrow sides of the building, while the offices for 150 employees are located alongside. Dividing walls are free of installations and the individual floors remain self-supporting. This ensures the flexible long-term use of the building, which was a significant aspect of the demand for sustainability.
Transparent Interior Design
Regionally sourced oak woods for the office wall paneling and a carpet made of recycled fishing nets are only some of the examples of how ecological standards and elegant aesthetics can be harmoniously blended. Generous glazing provides transparency in the individual rooms and workspaces of the company. The aisle-sided skylights and the viewing windows on the office doors provide a clear view even when the doors are closed. The glazed meeting rooms at the front can be fitted with privacy screens if required.
Two concrete frames support the longitudinal sides built as timber construction with ribbon glazing and the transparent vertical openings on the two narrow sides. The combination of the horizontal timber sided exposed concrete walls and the dark wood of the parapets, the south-facing wooden grid structure of the eye-catching brise-soleil and the cube-shaped balcony parapets projecting from the windows of the narrow sides constitutes a striking and robust structure within the diverse environment.
The i+R headquarter was the first office building in Austria to be certified with the prestigious LEED platinum. Renewable, regional and recyclable raw materials and the company’s own products – concrete, wood and wooden windows – were used for the construction.
The brise-soleil of the south façade provides shade from direct sunlight in summer, thus reducing the energy required for cooling by 70%. The interior receives maximum natural light, reducing artificial lighting to less than 50%. Thanks to its highly efficient building services and energy technology, the building falls even below the passive house standard by one third with a heating energy requirement of only 9.7 kWh/m²a. A photovoltaic unit of 1,500 m², installed on top of the building logistics center, generates the energy for the offices and the heat pump.
This office building is an ode to smart building construction: impactful architecture in harmony with the company’s philosophy translates into functionally well thought-out design that is efficient in its use of resources.