m2 railgroup, headquarters Even if the economy in South Tyrol largely depends on tourism, there are still innovative and well-trained people who work in other areas. This raises the question of whether companies should generally be located in urban areas or whether it makes sense for companies that are not active in tourism or agriculture to set up locations in rural areas as well. In the small municipality of Wengen (La Val – La Valle) in the Val Badia there is a relatively brisk traditional trade, mainly of craftsmen, such as carpenters, woodworkers, but also weavers. All companies have settled here in a narrow commercial area, between the stream and the rocks, the location is hardly suitable for living, and the possibility of building is also severely restricted by the landscape conditions. In this situation, 30 km from the nearest single-track railway line, a particularly innovative company, the m2 railgroup, has settled. Why? Wengen is the home of the company founders, the two Moling brothers (m2). After many years abroad, they returned to their origins. Nevertheless, the company - it offers services for railway infrastructure in safety, maintenance and diagnostics - is active worldwide. The new building corresponds to the corporate identity. It's about innovation, flexibility, dynamism, modernity and – in a way – rootedness. It is a communication tool for the company management: employees from Wengen and the surrounding villages are recruited with the help of the building, which promises to work in a pleasant atmosphere and with a successful company. The workshops and storage rooms for equipment and laboratories are located on the ground floor. On the first floor, in contact with the rock, are offices for technology, administration and management as well as meeting rooms. Finally, the top floor offers rooms for employees who come from abroad. The ground floor forms a base made of concrete, which has been left in view and insulated on the inside. In contrast, the facades of the upper floor are frameless glazed all around, so that a lot of light, as well as the environment characterized by rocks and forest as well as the narrow valley can be brought into the office floor. The top floor is closed on the street side - the rooms are all oriented towards the secured rock. Structurally, the building is very complex: the office floor has no supports along the glass facade, large parts are cantilevered. The hall areas on the ground floor are largely column-free. Almost all elements could be tailor-made for the project: the office furniture and the core paneling were specially made from South Tyrolean chestnut wood, the expanded metal ceiling, which is active in terms of sound and ventilation and through which the orientation light shines through, is also a special construction. On the one hand, the lighting concept offers perfectly illuminated work areas, on the other hand, it supports the building in its communicative effect. Also as a statement against the current war in the Ukraine, the building could be activated in a simple way, illuminated yellow-blue. Overall, contrasts are particularly noticeable and existential for the project: the provincial meets the cosmopolitan, glass meets rock, the rough meets the fine, the material meets the immaterial.
Is it about the first look? Or is it more about the second?
What interests us zero: trends & fashions. In our opinion, these prevent stubborn access to the creative process.
Our architecture strives for a certain timelessness - with approaches and means that have been thought of outside the box. It is always about the perception of a spatial situation. We ask ourselves questions - for example how can atmospheric density or presence be generated? With the combination of which building blocks or building materials in each individual project? With what proportions? Which colors? Which textures? How is the light?
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