production and administration building, Coswig 2009 (Photographs: Esther Havlova)

GFC Antriebssysteme GmbH

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GFC Antriebssysteme GmbH is looking back at more than 100 years history of developing and manufacturing of worm gear and hydraulic gear units at its enterprise location Coswig near Dresden. The company was before the political changes in 1989 as “VEB Getriebefabrik Coswig” the only manufacturer of worm gears in the former GDR.

The existing production hall was established a faceless, simple box in standardized construction way from precast concrete parts.

The existing building did no longer meet the requirements to modern jobs and an increased place requirement within the logistics area. We decided to use the structure of armoured concrete, which was in a good condition and to extend the original building with a two storeyed administration building, logistics and stock area. The exposure of jobs in the existing assembly hall has been improved by additional skylights. Similarly, supply skylights the jobs in the expansion areas with natural light.

The functional separation between assembly area and the two-storeyed office area is abrogated by room-high glass walls. This conveys internal communication between these different working environments. The proximity of the operational areas supports the attainment of a maximum of internal communication.

Office partitions are also done with all-glass constructions to create maximum transparency. The steps of the main staircase consist of individual cantilevered slender precast concrete blocks, the surface is in ground terrazzo optic. The handrail works like one beam, which tensions from ground-floor to first floor without any touch to the steps.

The structure of the building is in the heterogeneous environment of mixed use with residential and commercial use in Coswig particularly important. We developed the theme of the presentation of different functions by the use of different materials.

The administrative tract is coated by walls from exposed concrete, production and logistics are characterized by the use of shingles from stainless steel and translucent boards from polycarbonate. From outside large, calm surfaces stress the sculptural character of the whole body.
The carrying structure of the office area is done as a grid from columns and beams from exposed concrete.

The spatial space between concrete structure and room-high glazing is used as maintenance catwalk, the ceiling overhang creates a natural sunscreen for the workplaces found behind. The special feature of this support structure on two levels is the slope in two directions, forward and sidewise. The movement arising from this skew is continued in the facade around the entire structure. The overhanging roof light, the slanted door frame from concrete and the inclined steel shingle façade extrapolate this theme around the whole building. The shingles of stainless steel were selected as front material because they support the clearness of the shape of the building, by being able to be led around the corner.

On the elongated side facing the street this momentum comes to rest. The huge volume of the assembly hall is located on a base which is covered with the shimmering pearl coloured translucent panels from polycarbonate. At night the illumination of this light-diffusing plates seems to make float the part of the building attached on top.

Energy standards: In the office section the cooling is realized by well water and CCTC (concrete core temperature control). Therefore the ceiling soffit was formed in exposed concrete quality. In addition, a mechanical ventilation system with an integrated wasted-heat recovery system was installed. In the manufacturing sector a cybernetic system was developed: The machines heat is conducted away via a suction. This exhaust air is cleaned and led through a heat exchanger, in which fresh air is preheated and subsequently blown in the workplace with low flow rates. During operation, the supply of heating power is realized by the use of machine waste heat, only for heating up in the morning or after a weekend will be used in addition radiant ceiling panels.

production and administration

GFC Antriebssysteme GmbH

Building area
8.100 sqm

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