What makes it special is that, on the inside, the building's former life as a production facility can still be seen in the finer details. The principle of “making old from new” applies to the function of the building, the interior design, the installation of new products and the reuse of the old windows and doors, which have been fed into the A/U/F recycling system. The highest standards in terms of sustainability were set for the building, with both the window units and the mullion/transom façade of the stairwells being Cradle to Cradle certified.
From the envelope through to the new interior, a holistic approach was taken to the complete refurbishment of the building with its overall size of 4500 m². As the existing structure was very good, there was no question that it would be retained right from the start. It was therefore possible to create the Digital One Hub in its current form much faster and more cost-effectively than if it had been a newbuild. The planning, gutting and new fitting-out took just 15 short months.
Industrial charm retained
Even after the conversion, the aim was to keep as much of the history of the old building as possible. With the new design, its identity as a former industrial production hall has been highlighted. Accordingly, selected elements were retained or adapted on the inside, continuing its “engineering” look and feel, with exposed fixtures and surface-mounted cabling with tubes and clamps made from steel. The old industrial flooring was refurbished, albeit the original floor markings were kept. Their yellow colour is reflected in matching design accents on the walls. Apart from this, the colour palette of Digital Hub One is dominated by muted colours from neutral to dark grey in combination with a great deal of black. Recycled and certified sustainable materials were used both inside and outside, including original vintage lights and carpets made from recycled plastic bottles. The carpets are not fixed to the floor, meaning they can be removed at a later date without leaving behind any trace. The wall cladding in the office and meeting spaces is made from fast-growing, renewable maritime pine panels and the purpose-built furniture is also certified as sustainable.
Prototype for new working environments
The changes on the inside are more than just construction measures. The new architecture in Digital Hub One has created a completely new working culture, a different way of working together. The “New Work” environment has been tested by Schüco here since November 2018. If it proves successful, this environment will also be rolled out for the new offices which will be built on the company premises over the next few years. 159 fixed and many temporary workstations have been created on the ground floor and on the two full upper storeys.
The overall area of the building has been divided into zones in order to meet the different working requirements. Both dynamic teamwork and quiet, concentrated work are equally possible. To permit this, open working spaces alternate with glazed but closed meeting areas, telephone booths and whiteboard nooks. Comfortable lounge and kitchen areas that are also suitable for working in are an important feature of the new spatial concept – the communicative, homely atmosphere aims to encourage networking between colleagues. The new office concept is a modern, open working environment that allows people to work faster, more flexibly and more creatively with one another.
Back in the loop
During the renovation/complete refurbishment of the building, high standards were set in terms of sustainability – including when it came to the recycling and processing of old building materials. The old windows and doors were therefore fed into the A/U/F recycling system (Aluminium and the Environment in Window and Façade Construction). By separating out the materials, then shredding and melting the valuable aluminium, it was ensured that new aluminium profiles will be made from the old material. System partner and main contractor GOLDBECK in Bielefeld was responsible for the renovation of the windows; they have already worked with Schüco to complete other buildings at this site.
The lifecycle at a glance: Cradle to Cradle
From building to raw material stockpile of the future. Even when the new windows and doors were installed, Schüco had its sights set firmly on tomorrow – and the recyclability of the building at the end of its lifecycle. Recyclable Schüco aluminium products were therefore used, which can be kept in a continuous recycling loop in accordance with the “Cradle to Cradle" principle. On the ground floor, the AWS 75.SI (Aluminium Window System, 75 mm basic depth, Super Insulated) window system was installed, which is Cradle to Cradle Silver certified.
Both stairwells were fitted with the FWS 35 PD.HI mullion/transom construction, a Panorama Design façade (35 mm face width) which also holds the Cradle to Cradle Silver certificate. In the office areas on the first and second floors, the Cradle to Cradle Bronze certified FWS 60 CV.HI ribbon window system was used. The system enables maximum transparency due to the seamless integration of vent and load-bearing structure. Fixed lights and opening units are indistinguishable from the outside. On the flush-fitted interior side, the window vents are only betrayed by a narrow shadow gap and the window handle.
» Project title: Digital Hub One, Bielefeld, Germany
» Architect: Nicole Becker, Schüco Bielefeld
» Schüco system partner: Main contractor GOLDBECK, Bielefeld
» Office space: 4500 m²
» Conversion: 2017 – 2019
Schüco systems in the project
» Window units on 1st and 2nd floor: FWS 60 CV.HI, on 2nd floor with French balcony (C2C Bronze certified)
» Lift-and-slide system on 2nd floor: ASS 70
» Window units on ground floor (storage area): AWS 75.SI (C2C Silver certified)
» Stairwell façades: FWS 35 PD.HI (C2C Silver certified)
» Doors in stairwells (ground floor): ADS 75.SI
» Fire doors in stairwells: ADS 80 FR 30