Box-in-a-Box architecture: creating new workspaces inside a former power plant

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In the city of Wiesbaden in western Germany, a disused power station stands on the bank of the Rhine.

It could make great housing, or could even be turned into a cultural site – London’s Tate Modern has been repurposed from a power station – but local zoning laws prohibit such applications for the industrial site. Thus, the owner of the Wiesbadener Stadtentwicklungsgesellschaft SEG GmbH site commissioned a German architectural firm 3deluxe develop design proposals to transform the building into offices.

3deluxe opted for a Box-in-box approachrather than building the interior to meet the existing walls.

“The concept envisions a self-contained, self-contained volume in the hall that both preserves the character of the listed structure and simultaneously creates an interesting space in between: not only does the latter allow for attractive indoor/outdoor use, but also produces a climate that means that whatever the season, less energy is required to use it than would otherwise be the case.

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“Twist” option

“Twist” option

“Twist” option

“Twist” option

“The modular system comprises lightweight wooden boxes of a uniform design, a system that relies on stacking to generate unlimited options and configurations.”

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“The open spaces between the office cubicles and the lobby facade can be used as a campus space perfectly suited to the communication culture that is an integral part of contemporary office life: There are niches and areas for breaks, to relax, to have lunch, meeting spaces for conferences and co-working, not to mention a small cafeteria, table football and a weight training area.All these amenities as well as a reception, a lobby and a reception lounge. expectations make the concept very attractive to any potential tenant.”

“Terrace” formula

“The tiering of upper floors reduces spatial depth and ensures ideal lighting in office spaces and common areas on the ground floor. And it also produces terraces that serve as additional spaces that can be used either for work, or for meetings and informal breaks. In addition, the terrace allows direct views between the different floors, favoring communication and allowing a better appreciation of the interior space of the hall as a whole.”

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“The three-story space group functions as a self-contained volume with its own separate climate within the larger hall. This has many advantages. Indeed, although the existing facade is renovated, it does not need to be lavishly insulated, while the interior facade of the wood and glass pole does not have to meet the requirements of an exterior facade, both in terms of insulation and sealing, which reduces construction and modernization costs, and thanks to the climate shell, office spaces require less energy to operate in both summer and winter, which significantly reduces the carbon footprint.”

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“Terrace” formula

“The construction can be carried out both quickly and efficiently thanks to the serial modular design of the prefabricated elements. There are also other aspects that make the box-in-the-box system so durable: it is easy to remove , recyclable and energy efficient.

“The much-loved supreme discipline of architecture has always been new construction,” writes 3deluxe partner Dieter Brell. “That is changing: architects are being challenged to turn redevelopments and conversions into exciting, innovative and forward-looking projects, creating a desire for existing properties and making demolition unnecessary.”

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