Behnisch Architekten Wins Back-to-Back Competitions
          Posted by Mario Cipresso

        • STUTTGART, GERMANY - Behnisch Architekten continues its global reputation for winning architectural competitions with new commissions in three European countries. The range of projects, from research building to leisure complex to corporate headquarters and apartment tower, confirms this award-winning firm's diversity of capabilities, along with its singularity of commitment to creating places that benefit society and minimize the impact on the planet. "Our vision is decidedly optimistic, combining the positive aspects of various developments in different situations at different densities, offering much improved living and working conditions," says Stefan Behnisch, BDA, RIBA, CIMA, principal/partner of the Stuttgart-based firm, which has U.S. offices in Venice, CA, and Boston, MA.

          Digiteo Labs (Paris, France)

          Along with Paris-based BRS Architectes, Behnisch Architekten won a competition for three research buildings in the Paris region. Digiteo Labs, research facilities for information and communication technologies, will have laboratories and conference spaces at three sites: Saclay, Moulon à Gif-sur-Yvette, and Palaiseau. The complexes will be shared by different research institutes, among them the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Polytechnical School, and the University of Paris Sud. The international competition was awarded in December 2006; schematic design began in March 2007; completion is expected in late 2009.

          Almaty Club and Resort (Butakovka, Kazakhstan)

          Almaty Club and Resort in Butakovka, Kazakhstan, is the result of swift economic development and a growing demand for upmarket residential and hospitality buildings in the region. Behnisch Architekten will work with Harder-Stumpfl Architekten and Transsolar ClimateEngineering (both Stuttgart based) on the project. The design makes optimal use of the local topography, a beautiful landscape of rivers and trees and places public amenities, such as fitness studios, cafés, restaurants, cinema, kindergarten, and swimming pool, in this attractive environment. The well-calculated placement and orientation in the landscape is just one of many ecological features, as well as various passive measures inside the buildings. Completion is expected in 2009.

          Unilever Headquarters (Hamburg, Germany)

          Multi-national consumer health, food, and personal-care product company Unilever plans to move to a prominent waterfront location in Hamburg's HafenCity, one of the most dynamic urban developments in Europe. The proposed building needed to promote internal communication among an office staff of a 1,200+, maximize the panoramic views of the river, and sustain an advanced energy concept. A large central atrium will be ringed with offices and will face Marco Polo Platz on the city side of the building. The configuration provides a vibrant public realm with such amenities as showrooms and restaurants that welcome the public to a generous and inviting atrium, while casually introducing them to the world of Unilever. Completion is expected in spring 2009.

          Marco Polo Tower (Hamburg, Germany)

          As well as winning the Unilever building in Hamburg's HafenCity, Behnisch Architekten has also won a competition to design the Marco Polo Tower, a 16-story residential building in the same area. The tower will accommodate 75 to 80 upscale apartments with various public amenities on the ground floor. The apartments vary in size from 700 to 1,400 square feet, and all will include balconies and terraces. Floors will vary in size and shape in response to the actual sightlines in order to ensure that apartments afford optimal views. The project?s environmental strategy aims to preserve natural resources by reducing energy consumption through strategies of triple glazing, sun-shading devices, and heat exchangers in groundwater. Completion is expected 2009.

          Image 1 - Almaty 3 Villas
          Image 2 - Digiteo Labs
          Image 3 - Marco Polo Tower
          Image 4 - Unilever Building

          For more information, visit the website of Behnisch Architekten.

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