30-09-2002

Planungsgruppe, Wondra and Stichs: crystal palace, Heidelberg, 1998-2000

Academy, Headquarters, Offices, Sport & Wellness,

Glass,

The German city of Heidelberg is home to the head offices of HDM (Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG), the world's leading maker of printing machines



Planungsgruppe, Wondra and Stichs: crystal palace, Heidelberg, 1998-2000 The German city of Heidelberg is home to the head offices of HDM (Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG), the world's leading maker of printing machines.
The building representing its world-wide position of prestige was designed by architects Stichs, Wondra and Planungsgruppe and constructed between 1998 and 2000. It is a crystal palace given an English name, Print Media Academy, to celebrate HDM's position of dominance over English-speaking markets.

The building is a cube measuring 37 x 37 x 49 metres located on the axis formed by Heidelberg castle, Schwetzing castle and Kegelsberg peak in the Palatinate. It has a roomy interior courtyard and a loggia type roof offering views of the surrounding landscape; the entire complex overlooks the square where the city's central train station is located, dominating the eastern end of Heidelberg.
The project Stichs and his partners came up with represents a highly daring static solution, as all floors of the building rest on twelve steel pillars with a diameter of 63 centimetres ranged around the perimeter of the ground floor.

>From the second floor up, two enormous crossed-over steel beams support the ten floors, rigidified by a complex buttressing structure; this leaves the big red underground auditorium entirely free of structural masses, an open hall measuring 37 x 37 x 10 metres.
Escalators and lifts take visitors from the auditorium right up to the terrace roof, big enough to be considered a true usable loggia. The building features not only the two hundred seat auditorium but a gallery and event rooms, meeting rooms, workshops, a communications centre and HDM staff offices on various floors.

GALLERY


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