learning factory

invited competition to design a learning centre

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Location: 8050 Zürich
Status: competition
Project: 2011
Planning and design: spillmann echsle architekten ag
Visualisations: total real, Zürich

A large multi-national company requires a learning centre. Along with two other offices, we were invited to submit a design competition entry for a learning centre. The brief was to transform an existing industrial hall into an inspirational place for knowledge transfer. Due to a regulation that states that the surface area or footprint of the existing factory buildings is also transferable to new buildings, given that existing structures on the site are kept, we decided to build above the existing structures, rather than 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 welcome and comfortable. We decided to perceive the space for networking as the binding element between the spaces for learning and working, creating a highly flexible and adaptive landscape that spreads over 9 floors. Not only the interior of the building, but also the exterior should communicate the idea of network. To emphasise this, the exterior is clad with energy-generating solar panels and cables. This proposal for the learning factory is simultaneously a reflection of the company‘s history, as well as its vision for the future.