Office and Service Center

The project is to be an architectonic “tailored suit” for the task of building a service center for the Ernsting’s Family textile trading company in the industrial zone of the small town of Coesfeld. The site in the Coesfeld-Lette commercial zone, neighboring the distribution and delivery building and a concrete factory, suggests an architecture that exhibits a kinship with commercial buildings with respect to volumetry, as well as the choice of materials and construction.

The new building is placed close to the street in order to form a tension-filled configuration with the adjacent neighboring building and to leave as much space as possible for future expansion, in addition. As a result, the building is developed upwardly instead of downwardly. The initial, simple primary form of the volume is heightened to a complex figure through the addition of various volumes. The entrance hall, the canteen, the conference room as well as the tentacle-like footbridge are placed about the primary form.

The parcel that remains free to the south is the connecting link to the adjacent small-scale development with single-family houses. The area is to be divided into pattern-like green areas and surfaced areas. Poured, large-sized, concrete slabs with expansion joints form the paving for the outdoor terrace, the driveway and the parking spaces. The green areas are further subdivided either into elongated fields that are planted with trees whose dense foliage acts like a hedge, into areas whose fruit trees imply a grove, or into smaller areas of grass. They invite the employees to spend their lunch break outside during the warmer months and harvest the fruit of the trees.

The project not only includes conventional offices for administrative work, but also spaces for working with fabrics and clothing, reminding one of ateliers with respect to the room height and lighting conditions. The four-story reception space represents the spatial connecting element between the offices and the textile workshop spaces. In addition, it forms a place for small events and exhibitions.

The architecture of the building, which is understood as the service center for the 700 small Ernsting's Family Stores, makes reference to the visual identity of the company.

The characteristic colors and forms of the firm's corporate identity become architectonic components. They form the "fabric" from which the architecture is "tailored": red, white and black on the one hand, and a metal façade to carry the colors on the other—analogous to the delivery trucks that swarm out of Coesfeld each and every day.

Location Coesfeld, Germany

Competition 1998

Competition Organzier Ernsting’s Family

Team G/G Pascal Müller, Stefan Thommen