Page D2.2 . 05 January 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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Logistical Metamorphosis

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"Association" means, for one thing, treating the exterior facades as identification for the buildings' internal functions. To underscore the industrial sheds' new functions for textile research and development, an exterior screen was printed with automotive motifs.

Inside, similar screens printed with natural motifs serve as space dividers and, as "illuminated cubes," are part of the electric lighting system in the unavoidably dark areas deep within the former industrial buildings.

FAI

In the first phase, completed in 2003, a conventional 105-foot (32-meter-) deep industrial shed was made into a modern research and development center for Forschungs und Entwicklungszentrum Automotive Interieur (FAI). In FAI, the architects did not mask but respected the industrial aesthetic of the old factory.

A new reed-lined ramp leads the visitor toward the building, where a large window offers a first view of the interior and the ground-floor production process, where 80 employees work. A large cafeteria offers views of the Danube River.

Upstairs, on the office floor, 120 employees work in research and design. Given the distance from much of the interior space to the perimeter, such a building massing would not normally be considered suitable for office space. But the architects used clever zoning and rear-lighted textile screens to create light pockets in otherwise dark areas.

The upper floor is minimally furnished with tables, chairs and cupboards, the basic elements required for work; nothing is superfluous. The office areas for teams are placed along the glazed perimeter, while private offices and meeting rooms are toward the center. In addition there are functional areas for presentations, computing equipment, and storage.

The FAI's high ceilings allows employees to see out into the adjacent forest. The dialog between high-tech and nature is further reinforced by the accessible green roof gardens and pockets of greenery within the complex.

Eybl Logistics

The second phase of the project, completed in 2004, transformed a high-shelving storage building into "Eybl-Logistics," with administrative areas for the plant direction, sales, logistics, and a textiles laboratory.

Here, the architects added a mezzanine to create an extra 27,000 square feet (2,500 square meters) of floor space. They opened and glazed the center of the expansive roof, creating a garden below, which distributes daylight to surrounding working areas and provides an area for employee relaxation.

This second project was seen as a logical continuation of the themes in FAI. Through spatial organization, the architects developed a clear differentiation between the various departments.

Again, they used printed screens in the offices and labs to emphasize communication between interior space and surrounding landscape. The graphic design illustrates and makes tangible the various working processes.

A bridge between the two buildings and another across the delivery area to the visitor parking are said to symbolize the metamorphosis of the two industrial buildings.

ATP is the largest architect-led full-service architecture and engineering firm in Austria and southern Germany, with more than 300 employees in offices in Innsbruck, Vienna, Munich, Zagreb, Prague, and Dresden.   >>>

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FAI is a modern research and development center for EYBL International, designed by the architecture and engineering firm Achammer-Tritthart + Partner (ATP).
Photo: Alexander Koller

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EYBL Logistics, phase two of the development, continues the facade theme.
Photo: Alexander Koller

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Site plan for EYBL International. FAI is rectangular in plan; EYBL Logistics is square.
Image: ATP

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Upper floor plans, EYBL International.
Image: ATP

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Building sections, EYBL International.
Image: ATP

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The "new" FAI office building respects the industrial aesthetic of the former factory.
Photo: Alexander Koller

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Conference room in FAI.
Photo: Alexander Koller

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Backlit, printed screens bring an image of nature into FAI's otherwise dark interior.
Photo: Alexander Koller

 

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