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Type: Headquarters, Office

Size: 316,460 sq ft / 29,400 m

Status: Completed 1991; Completed 2004

Recognition: AIA Chicago Chapter Award; Bund Deutscher Architekten; AIA Chicago Chapter Award

Following our completion in 1991 of the corporate headquarters for a holding company based in Mannheim, Germany, we were tasked with designing an addition that would complete the urban block and fulfill increased office space needs. The resulting volume was developed with contrasting strategies to the existing building, carefully integrating into the composition of the site.

Together, the two buildings cradle a vegetated courtyard at the heart of the urban block. The precise edges of stainless steel and glass offer light-filled, open-plan workspaces that contrast with the gently curving solid stone of the first building. The addition asserts its presence by cantilevering over the low wing of the existing building, visually pairing the masses together while maintaining the strong character of each.

The technical systems in Mannheimer 1 & 2 advance our explorations into decentralized air systems with integral heating and cooling in the concrete slabs. The twin-shell façade with operable windows accommodates direct airflow from the outside and enables warm air to be exhausted between the shells. The curved, cantilevering roof is clad with cells of stainless steel and glass, fulfilling the variety of programmatic needs below and further establishing the characteristics of adaptability, efficiency, and occupant comfort.

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