KSP Jürgen Engel - Information Logistics Center (ILC) – Volkswagen AG - Braunschweig
Sometimes, logistics centers remind of cardboard boxes kids use to carefully carry home little animals. Usual characteristics: flat, rectangular and many air holes in the lid, sorry, skylights on the roof. Certainly, a logistics and distribution building is a special challenge for architects. Design is usually not wanted here, the outcome of cost calculations often is next to nothing. Vastness, flexibility and without any columns are more important things, since it’s mainly about creating space which is protected from the weather, to store goods and to load them to get shipped to their destinations.
Logistics Center for Financial Service Providers
Architects KSP Jürgen Engel have shown that you can also design a logistics center in an appealing way, something they have proven by creating the Information Logistics Center (ILC) in Braunschweig. Their task was to plan a building touching the already existing VW-Bank and the VW-factory workshop, combining factory and office usage along with an appealing, modern working environment. The Volkswagen Financial Services AG is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and coordinates the automotive corporation’s worldwide financial service activities. At the ILC,up to 200,000 letters and nearly 2.1 million vehicle registration documents are processed – every day.
KSP Jürgen Engel fulfilled their employer’s wishes with an approach which is unusual for a logistics center. They have developed a two-story structure, the first floor of which consisting of two cubes, with the upper floor being a round area with an open middle. One of the two cubes is slightly staggered to the upper floor’s building line and emphasizes the building’s entrance. It also serves as a support for the bridge leading to the bank building next door. A central atrium supplies the inner rooms of the logistics center with daylight and pleases the eye with a vivid terrace landscape on the top floor, evolved through the staggered arrangement of the cubes.
Taking Turns between open and closed
The ILC also pleases the eye from outside, since the first floor façades display a very special dynamics through an irregular sequence of closeness and transparency. The closed areas are generated by level-high, white and sharp-edged pre-made parts, the transparent ones through also level-high pole-disk-constructions. Eye-catcher here is the upper floor KSP Jürgen Engel have coated with a fine metal grid. It allows looking inside as well as outside and it changes its color depending on the position of the sun and the light atmosphere from dark and mat to shining like metal.
And how does the information logistics center meet the requirements regarding flexibility and space without any columns? In order to achieve this, the supporting structure planners Assmann Beraten + Planen, Braunschweig, have, based on a grid of 7 x 7 m, conceptualized a beam-free supporting structure for most parts of the building with flat ceilings and round fair-faced concrete columns. With parts of the first floor, beams spanning 14 m were designed, the upper floor has also been realized with ceilings spanning 14 m without any beams. Thus, user-specific requirements and esthetics can also be brilliantly combined with logistics centers.
Volkswagen Immobilien Service GmbH, Wolfsburg, Germany
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany
GFA 8,930 m²