We were selected in 2009 along with 16 others from over 250 international practices who submitted their candidature to compete for this project.
Three separate buildings share party walls in order to reduce the building envelope: an 8,000 m2 office building for Greenpeace‘s German Headquarters, a 7,500 m2 “DesignXPort” centre for design, and 15,000 m2 of housing.
Our concept proposed a new office typology to achieve zero energy use with adequate daylight for all occupants achieved by a narrow 9m wide floor-plate around an atrium. There is no heating or cooling required on the coldest or hottest day. The underside of the concrete slab have sinusoidal ribbing to expose more surface for diurnal thermal storage during winter months, and natural ventilation and shading systems ensure no overheating in summer. The facade pattern is created by Corten steel ventilation panels and shutters, which are shut to reduce radiant heat loss at night. Openable triple glazing incorporates individual glare control blinds, and is 60% of the external wall area to ensure natural lighting levels. The external materials require no maintenance other than cleaning of windows effected from inside. Roof mounted pv cells provide all the electrical use demand. Solar thermal panels supply all warm water needs. The potential that all users would only use mobiles and laptops provided us with the opportunity to reduce full 240V distribution, limiting it to specific social and communal equipment zones in the building. Daylighting analysis by Ulrike Brandi Licht and energy analysis by Max Fordham & Partners demonstrated zero energy building demand.