The MERO company was one of Germany’s leading fabricators of steel structures, with a world renown for their space frames and more recently glazing systems and interior building systems including partitions, raised floors and sanitary units. The company was based in Würzburg, Bavaria, where production and administration facilities are located. The facilities require phased expansion and Ian Ritchie Architects won a limited competition in 1994 to develop an expansion strategy and building design for 3,000m2 of administration, social and exhibition facilities linked to the existing buildings. The design of the building developed from MERO’s desire to create a building which not only answered their functional requirements but also one which would embrace their developments in building technology, energy awareness and provide them with a striking architectural solution. Three generic solutions were presented: a rectangular and a circular proposal, both on three levels, and an elevated single storey solution. The circular solution was selected by the client. The architectural form gives an identity to their site and suggests a focal point. It allows connections at ground, 1st + 2nd floor levels to the existing buildings and provides for connections to future buildings to the west. The scheme’s essential characteristics are a high performance external glazed skin, with a shading screen which tracks around the building to the shallow naturally ventilated perimeter offices, and a central atrium which provides a social heart and exhibition area for the company and gives direct access to the auditorium, cafeteria and main conference rooms. The structure is in-situ concrete columns and precast trapezoidal floors.