Leybold · Köln, D

The German company Leybold Vakuum GmbH is developing vacuum technology as basis of a multitude of high-tech products; amongst others compact disks, DVDs, LCD flat screens up to semiconductor technology.
In consequence of the fast-paced progress they lacked a new laboratory and office building with diverse units of utilization. The task was to develop a building with a concept for floor plan and façade that offers a high degree of flexibility; at the same time, economic modification through easy rebuilding should be possible. In order to make the organization of the floor plan as flexible as possible, fixed internals such as circulation cores and sanitary facilities had to be concentrated as close to the façade as possible without reducing the illumination required for workplaces. That way it became possible to keep the building’s center free from any internals except for bearing piles.

The main criterion for the bearing system was the requirement for extremely high floor loadings (1.5 t/sqm) over a wide-spanning framework (15 m x 7.5 m). With respect to cost-effectiveness and the routing required for building services we opted for a construction with prestressed concrete. For this construction, Pi-slabs of prestressed concrete of 15 m in width have been deposited onto prefabricated T-bearers of 7.50 m in width.

The leading point for design of the façade was compliance with the activities carried out inside the building. The façade material selected should communicate a technical, modern character. Aluminum façade elements have been developed to give this outside impression. The façade is composed of three different elements selectable according to the functions required inside: closed, half-open, and fully glazed. In case of future conversion, it will be possible to replace the respective elements correspondingly.

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