Factory Conversion in Rehau
In the early 1990s a synthetics-processing company bought a former porcelain factory in Rehan, Germany. The powers that be had decided to unite three different divisions at this site at the beginning of the new millennium; modern workspace for 150 employees would be set in the factory’s venerable halls. The industrial character of the three buildings – dating to the early twentieth century and to the 1950s – was to be retained; at the same time a consistent spatial design was to be introduced. In order to preserve the expansiveness of the lofts, conference rooms and offices requiring enclosure are situated at the outer walls. Passing in between them is an office landscape which can be utilised in a variety of ways. A built-in furniture element accommodates special functions, such as office infrastructure, storage space, and exhibitions; it also constitutes the spine for ducts and wiring. The white, synthetic surfaces recall matt and glazed porcelain – a reference to the site’s history. The original cast-iron columns and sand-blasted, brush-blasted concrete emphasise the ensemble’s industrial character; the vast concrete ceiling-decks provide thermal mass, as well. The building envelope was brought up to date by installing a thermal-insulation composite system. All work stations located adjacent to windows are equipped with automated exterior sun protection and interior glare prevention.