Stuttgart: UNStudio's surfaces in continuous transformation

An open building to create, experiment and communicate the future

by Malcolm Clark
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The Centre for Virtual Engineering ZVE Fraunhofer Institute, designed by UNStudio, was inaugurated on June 20th in Stuttgart. It has already earned Gold certification of the DGNB - German Sustainable Building Council.

Ben Van Berkel, founder of UNStudio said: "the ZVE was designed as a prototype to demonstrate that architecture can incorporate a 'contemporary' concept of the workplace and stimulate new working methods in the future. The traditional divisions and separations are replaced by large visual connections, spaces for casual and planned meetings and flexible offices-workshops with shared workstations. Communication is the key to new and creative working methods and the Fraunhofer Institute ZVE has been designed to provide this input to all levels through architecture."

Functional work environments were created for the centre to stimulate communication, experimentation and creativity. The schematic approach combines the laboratory and research with public exhibition spaces and a free and 'spectacular' movement of visitors in a concept of an open and communicative building. The geometry of the ground floor, consisting of straight and curved elements, appears to dissolve in the "saw tooth" façade while maintaining the effect of a continuously transforming surface.

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    Centre for Virtual Engineering ZVE Fraunhofer Institute 28

    Centre for Virtual Engineering ZVE Fraunhofer Institute

    Stuttgart / Germany / 2012