Delicate box

Groleger Architects design luxury offices and showrooms

04 November 2007
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    After getting the commission for a building with offices and showrooms for luxury sanitary ware, the architects decided to design a minimalist but elegant shape.The house is simple in form: a 43.9 m x 28.0 m x 15.3 m high free standing box divided into three levels (ground floor and two upper floors).Different functions divide the volume into three parts (storage, showrooms, offices), but this inner division is not visible on the exterior of the building covered by the façade into one unique monolithic shape.The exterior is elegant and sophisticated: the long ends of the box are built of concrete with artificial stone cladding and a pattern of circular windows pierced into the volume. On the south side is a reflection pool. The short, western façade behind the storage is concrete with reflective glass curtain wall.The building' s dominant feature is the main façade with a floor-to-ceiling clear glass screen continuing into a flat roof covered with opaque glass, filtering diffuse light into the interior. Soft, natural light flows into the heart of the building, flooding the interior with luminance from roof till ground floor adding a sense of lightness and seamlessness reinforcing the prevailing spirit of openness.A central double-height hall serves as the focus of the interior connecting various functions: flexible and easily changeable exhibition spaces spreading through all floors, offices in the shape of two concrete boxes on the second floor overlooking the hall and ensuring benefit from maximum levels of natural daylight and a visual connection with the exhibition spaces in the hall beneath. The result is an elegantly two-storey box that though it turns its back on its surroundings, conceals a tranquil, sensuous inner calm.

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