Office and Administration
The task here in St. Gallen’s former warehouse district was to submit a design to complete the redevelopment of a number of old storage and administrative buildings on a site which currently houses various start-up and service businesses, galleries, restaurants and a police station. The new building was to provide more space in flexibly sized units for the same range of uses. A further aim was to minimise the building’s energy consumption.
Sensual minimalism. The sandstone cladding on the punched-window façade makes reference to the wider built environment, where it is used for ornamentation on the surrounding late 19C buildings. The grain and textural quality of the stone slabs, the shadows cast by the window reveals and the fine line drawn by the window sills all bring life to the building’s stark geometry. The visual effect of the stone is intensified by keeping design elements to a minimum.
Doorway and external stairs add a creative touch
The double-height opening on Davidstrasse housing the main entrance adds a hint of grandeur; an external flight of stairs, also sandstone-clad, runs along the side wall of the building above the entrance to the underground garage beneath the interior courtyard.
This elegant building impresses with its neat integration into the existing built environment, its clear, simple lines, use of materials and careful attention to detail.
The interior of the building is shaped by open floor plans. The stairwell together with lifts, kitchenettes and bathrooms forms the core that supports the floor slabs on each storey. With no additional internal load-bearing walls and only three supporting pillars per floor, space allocation is flexible and versatile. The restaurant on the ground floor has a loft-like refectory, while the six office floors above it all have different room plans. Workspaces receive natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides according to layout and the environmental conditions at individual workstations can be controlled separately.
Elegant, minimalist stairwell, minimum energy consumption
In the stairwell, design focuses on the essential elements: a natural stone floor, elegant, minimalist steel-plate bannisters and an unusual lighting scheme. Even the building’s energy credentials are good. Built to the Swiss Minergie standard, it has a compact structure with well insulated exterior walls and controlled ventilation.