19 FEBRUARY 2024




English translation:
Architecture as an experience
In Eastern Westphalia – the nerve center of the German kitchen furniture industry – the leading Austro-German market group for cooktop extraction systems opened a vast showroom in mid-September with spectacular architecture.
Founded in 2007 in Raubling (Upper Bavaria), Bora, the company of Willi Bruckbauer, has experienced exponential growth thanks to its technological innovations, first in extraction systems, then in high-end kitchen equipment. For this second showroom – far more enduring than just another trade show booth – Willi Bruckbauer wanted to make a strong statement. Instead of an old disused hotel located at the entrance to Herford, on the edge of Federal Highway B239, he envisioned constructing a complex of 2,000 m2 to exhibit his products on one and a half floors, alongside other exceptional partner companies from the kitchen, interior decoration, housing, and construction sectors. The complex also includes an event space and a restaurant. Bruckbauer then approached, without competition, the Vienna-based architecture firm of Peter Lorenz (which had previously worked several times for BORA) in order to “inspire him with a proposal never seen before in the world”! Among the ten proposals, the visionary entrepreneur selected the project in the shape of a glass and steel airplane wing, 95 m long, 13.50 m high, and inclined at 42° on the side facing the expressway, which seems to float on thin metal legs that support it. Around 80 parking spaces are sheltered beneath it.
In the basement, walls and columns in sets of three per axis, made of cast-in-place concrete, are positioned beneath all the steel columns on the ground floor. The two floors are located within twelve identical steel frames with a spacing of 8.10 m and a cantilever of 15 m above the last column, forming a surprising rhombus 22 x 18 m on each side. The varying height of the steel frames – from 800 to 1,200 mm – is adapted to the moment curve within the frame. The second floor is partially supported by the frames and two columns per axis. The steel ones form the primary load-bearing structure supporting the vertical loads. The secondary structure stiffening the frame is formed by the building shell, a shell composed of molded steel tubes, located on the outside all around and simultaneously supporting the facade structure. Integrated at the level of the latter, the stiffening shell connected to the main structure every 1.80 m by a thin molded tube, has created a large event space that is punctuated at regular intervals by the visible steel frames. The floor slabs within the structure are designed as large hollow-core slabs favoring rapid and optimized assembly of the floor weight. Colored glass elements alternate with galvanized steel panels with perforations of various diameters making up the envelope which, from the inside, gives the impression of a view of a starry sky. A highlight of this convertible roof, two large elements of 63 m2 each slide vertically above the lounge area and the restaurant. Photovoltaic panels complete the energy performance (geothermal, drilling…) of the building.