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The gateway to Wolfsburg

Post Time:Dec 03,2018Classify:Industry NewsView:1021

Due to the special location, architectural practice Koller Heitmann Schütz (khs) paid particular attention to the façade, which serves as the first glimpse of the Forum AutoVision and a welcoming gateway to the city of Wolfsburg.

They deliberately chose a mullion/transom construction using the Schüco FWS 50.SI façade system. Its narrow face widths perfectly matched the desire for maximum transparency and to have the building envelope as an identity-forming element.

The history of the city of Wolfsburg is closely tied to the development of the Volkswagen Group (VW). As one of the few cities that was designed in the middle of the 20th century as a deliberate reestablishment, the shape of the town quickly developed from a dormitory town for workers into a prosperous hub with over 120,000 residents.

The crisis that hit the mono-structural automobile industry in the mid-90s compelled officials in the city to conduct an unusual experiment. The “AutoVision” concept was devised in order to strengthen the competitiveness and thereby the quality of life in Wolfsburg.

To implement this, the Volkswagen Group and the city of Wolfsburg in equal parts established Wolfsburg AG, which since 1999 has been a public-private partnership in the areas of employment and structural funding and is a developer, client and operator of key elements of the city.


InnovationsCampus as a component of urban development

The company’s headquarters is the Forum AutoVision at the entrance to the city of Wolfsburg. At the heart of the building complex is the InnovationsCampus, a technology and new business centre where around 600 start-up companies have been looked after and where service providers and start-ups with 2000 employees have settled.

Covering an area of 45,000 m2, the now eight buildings, car park and research centre are grouped around a central “arena” which houses restaurants, conference rooms and event spaces.

Architectural practice khs Architekten has been involved in various construction phases of the structural development of the Forum AutoVision since 1999. The increasing demand for attractive rentable spaces led to the practice being commissioned to design the ICW 8 building.

What made this project special was that the user was selected before the planning stage. From the open-plan offices with desk sharing to the traditional office cubicles, all workplace concepts are included in this newbuild.

However, in order to be able to respond to the spatial requirements of future users at a reasonable expense, the client expressed the need for increased flexibility which allows the room planning grid to be changed easily with comprehensive utilities supplied in a hollow floor.

The building is connected to the campus by means of a glass bridge on the first floor, next to the raised entrance area. In addition to the obligatory sound reduction, construction time and cost requirements, the small construction site that was difficult to access was one of the biggest challenges.


The face of the city

The heterogeneous façade design of the InnovationsCampus deliberately reflects the innovative thinking of the company. The new ICW 8 building is the same shape as the existing buildings; it is only the side façade development that shows the contemporary evolution of the new building block in the growing district.

The lively interplay of large, floor-to-ceiling glazing, narrow ventilation flaps and closed units characterise the ICW 8 façade. The aspect of the workspaces facing the outside and surrounding area plays a huge role in this. khs Architekten believes that façades, behind which there are people, require special attention.

Bringing daylight into the depths of the rooms is something that can be achieved by the floor-to-ceiling glazing. At the same time, thanks to the narrow design of the mullions and transoms, the room appears wider and the outside becomes part of the sense of space.

And, last but not least, the interplay of the different versions as a process of varying influencing factors to find the neatest possible design and structure resulted in the overarching grid of open and closed units that now forms the welcoming face of the city. 

The building components were largely prefabricated to ensure a fast construction time. The skeleton structure made from a steel/reinforced concrete composite system was connected to intermediate floors made from reinforced concrete floorboards. The indoor climate is stabilised by means of integrated concrete core activation in the ceilings. External sun shading and individually operated glare protection on the inside also regulate the temperature of the rooms.

In line with the wish for a multi-storey aluminium/glass construction, the architects and the client both opted for the highly thermally insulated, self-supporting Schüco FWS 50.SI façade system with an internal and external face width of 50 mm.

Combined with the highly thermally insulated Schüco AWS 75.SI+ aluminium window system, it was possible to find the perfect solution to the desire for maximum transparency and the combination of thermal insulation and sound reduction.

Moreover, the flexibility of the system allows the integration of closed façade units in the non-ventilated façade. Likewise, it was possible to integrate a special construction to meet fire protection standards in the mullion/transom façade.

The architects also used Schüco solutions in the interior. All of the fire doors are Schüco ADS 80 FR 30 doors from the T30 door system with an 80 mm basic depth or Schüco ADS 65.NI SP doors from the non-insulated, smoke-proof aluminium door system with a 65 mm basic depth and glazing mounted on one side of the rebate.

Project details

Project title: Forum AutoVision of Wolfsburg AG, ICW 8 building, Wolfsburg
Architect: khs Architekten (Koller Heitmann Schütz)

Schüco partner companies:
External building envelope: Metallbau Möller GmbH & Co.KG, Erfurt
Internal units, fire protection: Cornils GmbH, Bergen

Surface area: Approx. 3900 m2
Planning: 2016
Completion: 2017

Schüco systems in the project:


Schüco FWS 50.SI, 
highly thermally insulated, self-supporting aluminium façade system as a mullion/transom construction for multi-storey façades with an internal and external face width of 50 mm. As a passive house-certified SI system, the façade ensures optimum thermal insulation values.

Schüco AOC 50 ST.SI, 
highly thermally insulated aluminium add-on construction on a steel load-bearing structure (gasket system), as a mullion/transom construction for multi-storey façades with a 50 mm external face width.


Schüco AWS 75.SI+,
highly thermally insulated aluminium window system.

Schüco AWS 75.SI+,
highly thermally insulated aluminium window system with a Schüco AWS VV ventilation vent.

Schüco AWS 75 BS.SI+,
highly thermally insulated aluminium block system with 75 mm basic depth.

Entrance door:

Schüco ADS 75 HD.HI,
highly thermally insulated aluminium door system.

Interior doors:

Schüco ADS 65.NI SP, 
smoke protection series, non-insulated, smoke-proof aluminium door system, in accordance with EN 1634-3 / DIN 18095 with a 65 mm basic depth and glazing mounted on one side of the rebate.

Schüco ADS 80 FR 30,
fire protection series, T30 door system with 80 mm basic depth.

Special features


Increased requirement for external sound reduction and flanking sound transmission.

Turn/tilt fittings
Schüco AvanTec SimplySmart.

Mechatronic bottom-hung fittings:
Schüco TipTronic system, profile-integrated, mechatronic bottom-hung fitting with external operation,
for vent loads up to 100 kg, opening width in tilt position as ventilation vent: 400 mm.

Schüco TipTronic, NSHEVS systems in accordance with EN 12101-2
Opening width as NSHEVS vent in the tilt position: 400 or 600 mm opening width.

Interview, Forum AutoVision of Wolfsburg AG 

“Architecture can encourage innovation”

Wenzel Steinhage, head of property management and procurement at Wolfsburg AG, and Jürgen Schütz, partner at architectural practice Koller Heitmann Schütz, on the development of the façade for the new InnovationsCampus 8 (ICW 8) building at the Forum AutoVision of Wolfsburg AG. Since Wolfsburg AG was founded in 1999 as a public-private partnership with the city of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen AG, the InnovationsCampus, covering an area of approximately 45,000 m2, has been continuously developed.

Source: www.schueco.comAuthor: Shangyi

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