Mixed-use Complex, Obernburg

This well-crafted mixed-use development, situated in the historic town of Obernburg am Main, in Bavaria, responds sensitively yet assuredly to its surroundings. The massing of its entrance block complements that of the nearby clock tower situated within the old city wall, while its carefully scaled fenestration echoes that of the neighbouring properties; and its ground floor colonnade configuration animates the development at street level.

Internally, three over-sized concrete column blocks disseminate the building's heft, while also functioning as conduits for the various technical services, all of which are easily accessible. Taken as a whole, this structural arrangement delivers a series of uninterrupted floor plans, so offering end-users a high degree of flexibility in the internal arrangement of the spaces.

The building's clarity of layout is equally on show in how the main circulation area, located within the atrium, serves as both a reception hall for the offices, on the first floor, and a lobby area for the apartments on the upper level.

Within this central volume, the steel mesh balustrading complements the exacting aesthetic of the untreated cast in-situ concrete. In addition, lacquered plaster is used where tactile contact comes into play, as with the monolithic looking bridge above the entranceway, which connects the first floor offices in the two main blocks. This link also functions as a 'visual pin', its form and solidity adding depth and drama to the atrium design. From the outside looking in, the bridge appears almost to hold the two main blocks in place; while from the inside looking out, its strong horizontal accent provides a robust visual counterpoint to the verticality of the atrium/stairwell design.