Environment Ministry. Dessau. Sauerbruch and Hutton. 2005

Sauerbruch Hutton,


Public Buildings,

Wood, Glass, Steel,


On a large lot originally occupied by the gasworks, the Environment Ministry (UBA) building in Dessau epitomises Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton's approach to architecture.

Environment Ministry. Dessau. Sauerbruch and Hutton. 2005 But it is above all on the outer walls that the two architects have given free reign to their talent for playing with colour, choosing 33 different hues that blend into one another. Coloured wood and glass are the key materials in the parapet elements, covered with panels of larch wood, and the windows set back into them.
The keys to the project are therefore contrast and integration: of skilfully alternated materials, forms and colours. This philosophy also guided the organisation of internal spaces, including 800 workstations in the office area. Some of the floors are bare cement, while others are linoleum, and sinuous forms alternate with clear-cut geometries. The building has highly effective thermal insulation, considerably cutting heating costs in the winter. The architects used one of the biggest heat exchangers available on the market to draw heat from the ground.
The atrium and the long internal courtyard play an important role here, letting light in to provide natural lighting and heating in even the innermost parts of the building, where the offices are located.

Web site: http://umweltbundesamt.de/index-e.htm

Laura Della Badia

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