Building sustainably with wood

Extensive renovations and modernisation have transformed a former freight yard hall in Remagen (Germany) into a modern office building.

Photo: Olaf Wiechers, arkitekt

How do you convert a single-storey brick hall into an office building with a pleasant working atmosphere? The planners at Mertens Architekten BDA and Herres & Pape Architekten PartGmbB have the answer. Over an area of 830 square meters, they have created a unique office landscape, which despite its size allows for peaceful and focused work.

Wood is front and centre

With the client being an engineering firm specialising in timber construction and wood being a particularly sustainable and durable material, it is no surprise that wood was chosen as the main act for both the interior and exterior of the project. On the outside, a dynamic vertical beam structure makes the hall’s highly energy-efficient wooden facade exude vitality and creative innovation. At the same time it hearkens back to almost 100 years ago – the time when the freight yard was built and buildings were generally constructed out of wood. The old brick walls inside have been preserved. They carry the weight of the historic roof structure. This combination of brickwork and dark beams creates a pleasantly rustic atmosphere.

Room boxes allow for more peace and quiet in the open-plan office

The three self-supporting wood and glass room boxes in the centre of the room seamlessly fit into the overall design. They house functional spaces and meeting rooms, a kitchenette as well as individual and quiet workspaces. The design of the boxes includes different types of wood and features glass walls that extend from the floor to the ceiling in some places. These allow for a more open feel inside the boxes, creating quiet workspaces within the open-plan office.

Additional workstations are located along the large windows on both sides of the room and are separated by black dividing elements. These are complemented by black office furniture and beech parquet flooring. In addition to wooden acoustic elements, the Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural wood naturally blend in with the overall design.