Prismatic Sustainable Buildings Imitate The Changing Seasons
Project: Oval Offices
Location: Cologne, Germany
Architects: Sauerbruch Hutton
The thousands of brightly colored louvers that wrap the Oval Offices in Cologne, Germany further showcase Berlin-based firm Sauerbruch Hutton's commitment to imaginative design.
Featured among a series of non-impressive corporate structures, the bulging forms of the two buildings serve as great contrast to the surrounding architecture.
image courtesy of Markus Bollen
In addition to their obvious contrasting design attributes, the Oval Offices were the first project in Cologne to earn an EU GreenBuilding certificate as part of the European Commission’s 2004 GreenBuilding Programme. This particular certificate encourages nonresidential building owners to apply sustainable technologies as a means of regulating energy consumption.
The architects, who are avid proponents of sustainable building solutions, convinced the building owners to adhere to strict environmental standards as a means of competing in the Cologne real-estate market.
Panels on the exterior façade as well as a series of roof gardens insulate the buildings. While the glass and glazed corridor skins control natural light penetration, operable windows allow each occupant control over internal ventilation. The colored louvers are adjustable, providing different levels of sun shading based on time of day. To control the building’s climate, the architect’s utilize the Rhine River as a natural energy source. They also pioneered an alternative method of day lighting in the interior by developing elongated canopies, furthering their adhesion to thermal building standards.
The luminous façade features an immense array of reds and greens resembling a tree’s transition into autumn.
photos © Markus Bollen + Brancolina + Jan Bitter
information © Arch Record + Sauerbruch Hutton
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