设计单位 Baumschlager Eberle Architekten
Buildings may be using less and less energy, but the technological cost of these energy savings is growing ever higher. Bucking this trend, the guiding principle at Baumschlager Eberle Architekten is “less energy with less technology”. Their 2226 HQ building and its successors provide a glimpse of what the relationship between buildings, technology and people might look like in the future.
Specifically, the design of the Lustenau building finds technical solutions where they make sense for users but does not seek to replace nature by an artificial environment. The objective was to increase comfort levels while also using less energy. Indeed, it is this objective that gives the building its name. 2226 is a reference to the internationally accepted comfort temperature range of 22°C to 26°C. The building eschews short-lived, cost-intensive heating and air conditioning plant, preferring to rely on a newly developed software program to control the flow of energy within the building.
The building offers optimal conditions for the natural flow of energy. A brick-built structure with walls, doors and high-ceilinged rooms, it requires little grey energy and its elementary architecture creates the sort of pleasant environment that comes from good proportions and a mode of operation that is self-explanatory.
A word about proportions. Externally, the building measures 24m x 24m x 24m, the perfect aspect ratio in the classical sense but also in terms of energy since it provides the largest possible volume for the smallest possible surface area.
The windows, responsible for the visual elongation of the building and its perception as a “tower”, follow the standard ratio of 5:3. This ratio is familiar from cinematography and achieves optimum daylighting on the 12-metre-deep upper floors, where the room height is 3.36 meters. At the same time, the windows represent only 24% of the overall building shell and so help to minimise heat loss.
This notion of combining comfort and energy savings reflects the collective knowledge acquired at the firm. “The basic idea is actually quite simple,” explains Dietmar Eberle. “Instead of the building reacting to its technical systems, it responds to human inputs, to the warmth and humidity generated by its users and the way they convert oxygen into CO2.”
How do Baumschlager Eberle Architekten achieve this feeling of wellbeing, an almost universally desired outcome, in a building of this type? There area a number of different elements that feed into these positive perceptions.
Seen from the outside, it is 2226’s solid building envelope that stands out. It is made up of 38cm of load-bearing and 38cm of insulating brickwork, the inner layer providing high compressive strength, the outer efficient insulation. It also has the all-too-often neglected ability to even out the surface temperatures of its interior walls at a pleasant level.
It is the thickness of the building envelope that dictates the depth of the window reveals. Together with the building’s aspect, this depth helps to regulate the sunlight penetration depth according to the time of year.
Then there is the choice of materials: of uniformly high-quality, they – together with the proportions – help the architecture to create a calm and inviting backdrop to daily life. Air is the only medium in the building that conveys energy and the flow of energy is guided by sensor-controlled ventilation panels that keep the room climate constant and comfortable.
Ever mindful that “proper” buildings should stand for at least a hundred years, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten have recently developed a form of architecture that addresses the issue of “standing” in its literal sense, an architecture in which sculpturality assumes a particular significance.
2226 explores this notion of plasticity to its very limits. Its orientation, for example, not only reduces the heat input due to sunlight, it also represents the elasticity, the utmost tension of its materials.
Seen in emotional terms, this is an exciting feature. Observing 2226 in a central perspective projection brings a certain serenity. Its classical proportions, the authentic feel of its materials and its sculptural depth combine to create a whole that – like the practical value it achieves – will work for successive generations of users.
This comprehensive approach leaves no doubt: the 2226 building in Lustenau is more than a one-off success. It is a prototype, firmly grounded in the way that the architects at Baumschlager Eberle think. Experimentation, future-proofing and economic credibility form the basis of a collaborative effort that would be barely conceivable without the momentum of research and development.
Practice has shown that the 2226 concept can be implemented successfully to the satisfaction of clients and users alike. The design has proved itself irrespective of cultural context, topographical location, dimensions and typology. It represents a key contribution to building sustainability based on sound economic principles.
Typology: Office and Administration
Client: AD Vermietung AG
Site: Millennium Park 20, 6890 Lustenau, Austria
Site area: 4.037 m²
Area of building: 543 m²
Gross floor area: 3.200 m2
Photography: Eduard Hueber EH
Team: Baumschlager Eberle Architekten, Lustenau
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