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Birk Heilmeyer und Frenzel Architekten, Bürogebäude, Karlsruhe

Space frame for creative minds: Office building in Karlsruhe

As part of the Karlsruhe Creative Park urban development project, a start-up centre with the name Perfekt Futur was established in the former pigmeat market hall in recent years and studios set up in the old slaughterhouse. Now the Festigungs- und Expansionszentrum will be adding office space for creative sector companies to the varied offerings at the site.

Fux is directly adjacent to Messplatz, a square that is enlivened by festivals and events several times a year and used as a car park for the rest of the time. In line with the area’s high degree of surface sealing, extensive design specifications require the Creative Park is to be robust, open and changeable in character. Birk Heilmeyer und Frenzel Architekten met this design stipulation with a solution that is simple but distinctive.

At the same time the binding construction plan contained strict requirements: heights and colours are precisely defined, and all new buildings are to have a flat roof, whereby in all cases their design is to take the cube as their basic shape. Two forms are united at Fux, namely a horizontally stressed rectangular volume, topped by a slightly offset cube rising up to the sky. Square windows articulate the plain facades, forming an interplay of gridded openings and concrete. 

Surfaces in raw exposed concrete also determine the interior, which along with its exposed piping and accentuated light design is plain and industrial in atmosphere while leaving future users a large degree of freedom in the shaping of their office space.

The main entrance is located on the west side and leads into the foyer and cafeteria, next to which a coworking area is intended. The dynamic room programme is to enable flexible use of space in a solution marked by generosity and communication as important elements of the building’s organizational structure.

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