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With Hager Forum, Sauerbruch Hutton architects and Hager Group have together created an outstanding example of corporate architecture: the 7,140 m2 cube of wood, glass, steel and aluminium harmoniously blends into the surroundings.
The design: clear forms, pure materials, intelligent details
For Hager Forum, Sauerbruch Hutton created an H-shaped footprint with two central atriums flanked by two-level wings. With a height of nine metres, besides the basement and the ground floor (with the ‘Origins’ and ‘Force Field’ exhibition and presentation spaces), the building features a further floor that accommodates office spaces for business development and design and innovation departments. The south-facing part of the ground floor houses the reception area, ‘Spark’ café, showrooms and the project rooms called ‘Labs’. The central event space, ‘The Hub’, opens into the north-facing part of the atrium.
The two central spaces are visually separated by a bridge that connects the H’s two wings. According to Matthias Sauerbruch, with this design “we were able to create a space for conferences and events with up to 400 participants while smaller groups of visitors won’t feel lost in Hager Forum.”
Measuring 108 by 39 metres, the building’s most striking feature is the jutting roof construction of laminated timber beams, featuring a 3 x 3 metre grid and resting on only 18 slender supports. The large roof that juts out from the building is meant as an invitation to draw people inside: “It also creates a weather-protected space for employees to meet and to enjoy a coffee after lunch”, says the architect.
Both the architects and Hager Group gave thorough consideration to the design’s sustainable qualities. With its modular structure, Hager Forum offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing future modifications and new uses at minimum effort and expenditure. The building’s compact volumes, its superbly insulated shell and its daylight-optimised glass surfaces together with a photovoltaic system on the roof and a smart building control system using Hager Group products account for excellent energy efficiency and comfort at a comparably moderate technological expenditure.
The construction phase: working with local trades
With Sauerbruch Hutton, Hager Forum has been created by architects who have attracted worldwide attention throughout the last few years. For this project, they worked closely with Guy Spack, Corporate Building Manager at Hager Group. Under his supervision, construction started in September 2013 and was completed in only 21 months. Five thousand five hundred cubic metres of concrete, 700 tons of steel, 125 kilometres of electric cable, 950 cubic metres of wood and almost 20 million euros went into Hager Forum. On the roof, 440 photovoltaic panels were installed, which generate sufficient regenerative energy to cover two thirds of Hager Forum’s consumption. Twenty five craft businesses, many of which are located in Alsace and the Saarland region, were involved in the construction. Thus, even before its inauguration, Hager Forum has put down firm roots in the region – a fact that is of great importance to our company.