Industrial culture can only come about when existing economic and functional constraints are successfully transformed into multidimensional design.
The Funder Werk factory building, a paper coating factory, is functionally determined by the process of production. It was to be metamorphosed into “expressive architecture”. The design concept is based on the idea of dismantling the production hall into sculpturally shaped elements.
Different interconnected architectural elements emerged during the design process, endowing the complex with an unmistakable head and body. The power station, identifiable by its three 25 meter tall chimneys and a 13 meters tall “cascade”, is connected to the production hall by a media bridge. These three elements cohere formally and structurally by way of two long anchoring cables attached to the chimney.
Playful and sculptural evocations of the power station stand out against the main hall consciously kept white and simple: the “dancing chimneys”, the media bridge, the free design of the “flying roof”, the shaped canopies over the entrances, and the south corner of the laboratory and office areas dissolved in glass.
The hall is constructed in steel. Twenty trusses bear the flat roof. Curtain walls built from precast, reinforced-concrete segments cover the lower part of the building, above which flush sheet-metal panels are longitudinally staggered. On the north side, light comes in through sheds, and on the south side through vertical window strips. The edge of the southwest facade departs from this principle and presents itself as a tilted corner in steel and glass, penetrated by truss girders and a diagonal beam.
The power station is made of reinforced concrete and displays the same wall construction as the hall. Three different sloping chimneys come in contact with the power station through anchoring cables. The “cascade” is a freestanding object made from sheet metal and a lattice frame.
A third of the media bridge (46 m long, 2,50 m wide, on average 3 m tall) rests on the roof of the power station, from which it ascends to the hall as a jutting, divided and creased bridge construction. Half of it is clad in the same sheet-metal panels as the hall and the power station, the rest of it being arrayed in longitudinally and diagonally laid acrylic web plates. The bridge cuts through the large folded flying roof, which is held up by a truss girder that has been shifted outward, with only two supports.