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Südwestmetall Headquarters Reutlingen

Allmann Sattler Wappner Architekten

Südwestmetall Headquarters Reutlingen
By Editorial Staff -
Frener & Reifer, Zumtobel Group have participated in the project

The German Metal and Electrical Industry Manufacturers’ Association, Südwestmetall, is located in a central residential area of Reutlingen. The buildings also house a training centre as well as advisory and representation offices for member companies.
The complex comprises 3 separate, 15x15 m, 4-story buildings with traditional pitched roofs. An underground garage, accessed by a ramp in one of the buildings, serves the whole block. The 3 buildings are connected on the upper floors by lightweight walkways contained within a glazed envelope.
Façades and roofs have a double skin: the inner surface is made of floor-to-ceiling window elements, insulated reinforced concrete walls, composite steel pillars and steel roof girders. The outer skin of 1.5x6 m smooth, 4 mm stainless steel slabs, presents a seamless continuous surface with no visible joints. This outer façade is fixed to a stainless steel frame hung on the secondary structure. Slabs have a mat, finely beaded finish. The façade elements are joined by pressure joints, thereby avoiding a series of expansion joints, and allowing great flexibility of laying and a seamless surface. Slabs at the corners, along roof ridges, eaves and gables have been given a  “gusseted or pleated” finish.
Any heat expansion of the stainless steel sheet is absorbed by each wall and roof thanks to 50 mm expansion slits that lend a vertical motif to the façades, heightened by the black substructure. On the ground floor of each building, a 730x730 mm stainless steel wall, laser-cut into a medley of patterns, runs all along the perimeter shielding the full height glazing. The aesthetic effect is strikingly. The building plinth becomes almost dematerialised while the outer layer sets up natural air circulation. The same steel slab patterned motif is followed onto the paving in front of the ungated complex.
The vertically sliding stainless steel blinds are a distinctive feature of the façade. The micro-perforated sheets...

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