learning factory

invited competition for the design of a learning centre

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Address: 8050 Zurich
Design: spillmann echsle architekten
Year: 2011
Renderings: total real, Zurich

A large multi-national company requires a learning centre. We were invited alongside two other studios to submit a competition entry for its design, in which an existing industrial hall should be transformed into a highly inspiring space for knowledge transfer. As there is a regulation which states that the amount of surface area or footprint of these existing factory buildings is transferable to new buildings – given that existing structures on the site are kept – we decided to add to the top of the existing structures, rather than the inside. In this way, the uniqueness of the industrial complex remains intact.
Our idea consisted of two main concepts: firstly, a network in which there are infinite ways to move through the building. Secondly, the idea of living rooms, places for social interaction, where guests from all around the world feel comfortable and welcomed. We decided to perceive the space for networking as the binding element between the spaces for learning and working and created a highly flexible and adaptive landscape that raises up over 9 floors. Not only the building‘s inside, but also its outside should communicate this idea of a network, and so the exterior of the building is wrapped with cables and energy-generating solar panels. This proposal for the learning factory is simultaneously a reflection on the company‘s history, as well as its vision for the future.