The design for the new headquarters of a real estate company, located at the highest traffic entrance of Graz, brings clarity and conciseness to this new emerging and vibrant district. From an urban planning perspective, it exudes individuality within the context of the challenge of linking a flat transition area to an industrial environment, thus creating a new landmark space. The task was to create an authentic example of a ‘build identity’ within the context of a seven-storey building by incorporating the client’s logo consistently throughout the building’s elevation. Organised as a cube, divided by a curved atrium across all floors, the building comprises a glass-dominated core within a floating concrete structure. Thus, the project name – ‘CUBEND’ – is a unification of the words ‘cube’, relating to wholeness and persistence, and ‘bend’, referring to movement and dynamics; all of which represent the company’s values.
The floating, multi-layered facade, integrated into the sustainable, energy-efficient building system, contains three functional and structural elements. The outer symmetric grid of white concrete features an automatic sun-shading system that communicates the use of the building (depending on time and season) to its surroundings. The second part of the facade, a porch-like area, is climate-controlled using a canopy that provides shelter from high sun in the summer. The floor-to-ceiling glass inner cube offers, combined with the skylight atrium, consistent daylight throughout the entire space.
The interior organisation of the space reflects the corporate architectural elements that create fragmented formations around an elongated atrium, which cuts through of the floors. With the atrium stretching from the ground floor up to the rooftop, the functions of the ‘new work’ concept are organised in a circular flow, with communal zones, working and privacy areas positioned around the void, creating one big, floating space over all floors. A central building core includes the staircase and elevator, as well as all building technologies, and distributes those outwards to the office space through a mesh-like suspended ceiling, which meets the spatial, aesthetic and acoustic demands. By integrating biophillic design aspects in the space through plants and a green wall on the inside, a green rooftop-terrace, balconies and the building’s foreyard, employee well-being and productivity is enhanced. This forward-thinking concept sets the stage for an efficient, activity-based and identity-enhancing working environment, which balances people, place and technology.
“The cube has been with us for thousands of years, but this project shows us that you can still create something different with it”