Green Building Advances in Germany with ThyssenKrupp Headquarters
The history of the city of Essen and the Thyssen Steel Corporation are heavily intertwined: At its peak, the steel maker controlled almost 30 percent of the city’s area. After WWII, the destruction of the Krupp steel works left behind a large wasteland in Essen. In 1999, Thyssen merged with its biggest competitor, the Krupp Corporation, to form ThyssenKrupp. The global conglomerate today employs 177,000 people across 80 countries. In 2006 it decided to build a campus to house employees in its “spiritual home.” The ThyssenKrupp Hauptquartier is a high-tech, highly literal expression of the company’s identity. After the merger, the combined company was headquartered in Düsseldorf, but the new corporate headquarters returns the company to its roots. In 2010, the new ThyssenKrupp Quartier, designed by JSWD Architekten of Köln (Cologne) and Chaix & Morel et Associés from Paris, was inaugurated on this site.
The ten buildings planned for the campus (four new buildings have been erected so far) are part of an even larger urban design scheme called the “Krupp-ribbon” that will run west of downtown Essen on 230 hectares (550 acres) and will offer places to work, play and relax. At the center of the new corporate campus and situated at the northern end of a large (6,000-sq.m.) water basin, a 13-story, 50-meter tall office tower, called “Q1,” forms the central landmark. Built to house 500 employees, the building looks as if it was made of two large “L-shapes” hugging a large central atrium between them. Its 700-sq.m. glass façade on the north and south, creating a floating space between inside and outside, was designed by Werner Sobek. Bridges span across the atrium for horizontal circulation. It is DGNB Gold-rated, the highest level.