Staff -- Interior Design, 10/31/2008 12:00:00 AM
firm: matteo thun & partners
site: kösching, bavaria
“Build us a 3-D business card.” This sentiment, though unspoken, drives many corporate building projects, sending some designers scrambling for a branding guru or graphics wiz. Matteo Thun & Partners, however, went straight to the source. As the firm plotted a 43,055-square-foot executive pavilion for German wood producer Binder, it employed Binder's own plywood in the building.
“We've been known for sustainable architecture for 30 years, and it all started with wood,“says Thun, the firm's principal and Interior Design magazine Hall of Famer. On a grassy knoll adjacent to a wood mill in Kösching, Bavaria, project leaders Bruno Franchi and Uta Bahn mapped out a straightforward and linear design to spotlight the company's signature commodity. It was the ultimate product placement.
They specified use of Binder's cross-laminated BBS for the entire complex. Spruce and larch overlap in alternating layers to produce the prefabricated sheets in a process that is energy efficient. The self-insulating composite absorbs sound and resists fire, with nary a whiff of carbon emissions. Sheets come in 13 different thicknesses, up to 10½ inches, at 49 inches wide.
On the single-story facade, full-height glass panels mix with BBS sheets, generating a give-and-take between transparency and substance. Slender office quadrants of glass and wood are wedged into a glass, central entrance hall, forming an “H” that also frames two outdoor courtyards. White wood walls and limestone flooring intensify the starkness of negative space in the reception area, which is bordered by the glass conference room and its SmartWood-certified, nut-wood-top table. All beneath a flat BBS roof, forcefully projecting over the courtyards like a wide-brimmed boater. It makes a spot-on finish for a corporate tip-of-the-hat. 43-5288-601-0; binderholz.com. circle 591
2008 FALL MARKET TABLOID – ECO-FRIENDLY
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