Behnisch Architekten discuss the need for sustainability and innovative, responsive, design
Behnisch Architekten has a firmly established reputation as a practice which produces unique buildings tailored to suit the particular needs of their clients. Under the leadership of Stefan Behnisch, it has realised a wide range of award-winning buildings, many of which have become recognized as both cultural and architectural landmarks. Stefan Behnisch's goal is to connect the forces of human life and the natural environment, this fuels the design of every commission the firm receives.
The search for innovative and sustainable solutions making optimum use of natural resources has produced a rich variety of buildings, each of which responds to specific user requirements and site conditions. One of the main considerations, in all design decisions, focuses on the exploitation of natural resources by simple means such as orientation of the building, shallow floor plans, multi-functional atria, daylight enhancement systems, and many others. If necessary, these means are complemented by technical solutions.
The architects preferred working methods are such that they do not adhere to predetermined solutions or a fixed architectural course; instead, with the help of their clients, they endeavour to understand the inherent demands of each task; the entity of the respective spaces and the relationships between them, to develop specific characters, aspects, or distinct situations rather than merely reproduce predefined results. For them architecture and urban design should be determined in response to its original purpose, its time and place.
Among the firm's realised projects are the new WIPO building in Geneva (2011); the Speed Skating Stadium "Max Aicher Arena" in Inzell, Germany (with Pohl Architekten, 2011), the "Haus im Haus" for Hamburg's Chamber of Commerce (2007), the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research in Toronto, Canada (with architectsAlliance, 2005), the LEED Platinum-rated Genzyme Center in Cambridge, MA, USA (2004). The new Law School for the University of Baltimore is due for completion in 2012.