Centre for Virtual Engineering ZVE

Located on the research campus of the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart Vaihingen, the Centre for Virtual Engineering (ZVE) specialises in the investigation of different multidisciplinary workflows. The design concept was based on the architects research into creating working environments that stimulate communication, experimentation and creativity through a new type of office building. Thus, a diagrammatic approach was implemented that combined the laboratory and research functions with the public exhibition areas and a scenographic route for the visitors, which is an essential element of the design. Following an intense phase of analysis, all the various parts of the programme were implemented into the spatial organisation of the building resulting in merging the working areas into each other in order to promote interdisciplinary work practices.

An exceptional level of sustainability was a key consideration from the outset. Low maintenance, separable and recyclable materials were used for the skeleton as well as for the interior and facade construction. The main structure consists of four main cores. The ceilings span between these cores and columns within the facade area, thereby providing column-free spaces. The rounded compact shape provides a 7% smaller contour than that of a rectangular form of the same area, resulting in a better facade area to volume ratio. All spaces along the facade can be ventilated directly by operable window elements and ceilings without any lintels make it possible for daylight to reflect deep into the spaces, which are additionally supported by daylight lamellas while the sun screens are down. Upon completion the building was awarded a Gold Certification by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).