Kiefer technic showroom
Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner present the Kiefer Technic Showroom in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, was created with 112 metal tiles controlled by a mechanical system to create a dynamic, changing building exterior. Using 56 different engines, the system can adjust both the light and temperature levels in any of the rooms to obtain the optimal conditions for current activities. Though there have been questions about how much energy is required to keep the metal tiles in motion, the concept certainly has garnered a lot of attention, both at home and internationally, as a high-tech solution for building efficiency.
The kiefer showroom is located in Bad Gleichenberg in Austria. This is a small village in the south of Austria. The climate here has mild winters and cold summers with the average temperature going from -1 in the winter to 20 degrees in the summer. (wikipedia, 2014) The Architect Ernst Giselbrecht is one of the leading figures of the Graz school. His early trademark was expressivism but then he gained international acclaim with a more rational design. The client Kiefer Technic provides high-quality solutions for the interior and needed an office with an exhibition space.
- The kiefer technic showroom has a dynamic facade that changes to outdoor conditions to optimize the internal climate. It also allows users to personalize their own spaces with user control.
- The facade is primarily used as a showcase for the company. Ernst Giselbrecht helped with the design of the facade but the technical detailing is done by the company itself. The facade has also been called the ‘dancing facade’ as there are many video’s of the facade in all kind of unique movements. The advantage for the user is that they can control the facade.
- The facade is made of aluminium posts and transoms. The panels are EIFS-facade in white plaster. The sun screen moves on electronic shutters of aluminium panels.
- The kinetic facade is more a showcase of what the kiefer company can do then a clever sun shading system. The user control can be useful, so you can close the facade if you have direct sunlight. The company did however get what they want as there are many videos showcasing the capabilities of the facade and has been awarded the austrian architecture award in 2008.
- As seen in the examples folding facades give the facade a third dimension and with it the ability to change the look of the facade. It doesn’t come without problems though, as there are many moving parts the durability of such facades is still unknown. All these moving parts also add to the costs. It will be interesting to see how these facades will operate after ten years.
Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner:
Office building and showroom for representative functions and product presentation for a metal company Structural work: brick walls; reinforced concrete floors; steel columns filled with concrete along the facade Facades: aluminium-glass facade with vorgelagerten Putzstegen respectively facade of upgraded insulation, plastered in white Sunscreens: folding elements made of perforated aluminium, electrically driven.
In earlier times, façades were characterised by window arrangements and axes. They often featured surface relief with architectural elements from the relevant period or style. The structure of the façade also determined the ground plan; the greater the number of window axes in a room, the more important the function of the user.
Not long ago office buildings had a clear structure and the number of axes was prede-termined – e.g. how many for a director or high-ranking counsellor and how many for a mere civil servant. With the introduction of window strips, these hierarchies were abandoned. Today it is possible that the complete exterior façade is transparent, and this very transparency in-dicates a modern character. At the same time, individual requirements escalate and need to be reconciled with the desire for comfort.
For this reason we have been working for some time with dynamic façades that can be adapted individually to changing conditions and needs. Of course they can also be controlled by optimising programs if users are not present in the rooms behind. Thus it is possible to realise these new transparent façades and yet still maintain a cosy at-mosphere in the rooms.
These façades change continuously; each day, each hour shows a new “face” – the façade is turning into a dynamic sculpture.
Project name: Kiefer technic showroom
Location: Feldbacher Str. 77, 8344 Bad Gleichenberg, Austria
Coordinates: 46.883861, 15.896331
Type: Shop / Store / Showroom / Retail
Built-up area: 298 sqm
Net area: 420 sqm
Total floor area: 545 sqm
Design Year/Period: 2005 – 2006
Completion Year: 2007
Client / Owner / Developer: Kiefer technic GmbH
Architects: Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner – Brockmanngasse 48/II A-8010 Graz, Austria
Project team: DI Peter Fürnschuss
General Contractor: Shanghai Construction Group
Mechanical services: Planungsbüro Greile
Structural: CMB GmbH
General contractor: Mandlbauer GmbH
Facade: Kiefer Metallbau GmbH
Text Description: © Courtesy of Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner, Kiefer technic GmbH
Images: © Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner, Paul Ott