Refurbished university building featuring Wicona glazing wins façade award

The refurbishment of a high-rise building at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Germany, which features a highly distinctive, bespoke façade solution from Wicona, has received the prestigious ‘German Façade Prize’ for its curtain walling.

The redevelopment of the 1960s building, which spans 16 storeys, was designed by Berlin-based Staab Architekten to reinstate the scheme’s iconic status as the tallest building in the area and a distinctive landmark on the city’s skyline. 

The tower was completely stripped back to its original concrete structure, the windows were replaced and the outer walls were created with Wicona curtain walling.  The north elevation, which faces the city centre, features narrow strips of glazing and contrasts with the south elevation which has striking 3D metal façade elements for solar shading.

The bespoke façade design was developed by Wicona in conjunction with fabricators Heinrich Würfel Metallbau GmbH and Co Betriebs KG, based on WICTEC 50 ‘stick’ curtain walling with integrated pressure plates, and the WICLINE 75 evo window system for natural ventilation.

Following its completion, the project team was presented with the façade award from the Association for Materials and Components in recognition of the scheme’s outstanding design. The ceremony took place at the German Museum of Architecture and more than 100 entries were submitted for the façade prize, which has been awarded for the past 10 years. 

The panel of judges said, “Darmstadt University is an excellent example of the use of this type of curtain walling. It takes the concept of post-war modernism a stage further and has given the building a distinctive ‘steel-like strength’.  The Wicona solution has successfully combined both the aesthetic challenges and functional requirements in exemplary fashion, and impressed us all.”

The university building accommodates a number of faculties, including mathematics and natural science, electro, plastics and information technology and machine engineering.  The student’s union, student service centre, executive committee and the university’s central administrative department are also located there.  

Wicona’s WICTEC curtain walling suite has been used extensively both in the UK and internationally.  It features a wide range of structural aluminium profiles to deliver vertical, angled, sloped and faceted glazing for optimum creative freedom.  From classic stick curtain walling to unitised, structural glazing and double skin façades, the WICTEC suite will meet almost any application and building design – such as vertical and sloped glazing, pyramids and barrel vaulted roofs.  There are also options for additional security, fire protection and bullet resistance without altering the appearance of the façade. 

The WICLINE window series has been engineered to create complex yet attractive fenestration designs that offer a high level of functionality and precision.  Options in the suite include enhanced security, bullet and burglar resistance, thermal and weather performance, acoustic protection, open-in and open-out systems, and a high quality range of window fittings. 

For further information about Wicona’s façade solutions for complex and challenging projects, visit www.wicona.ie, email info.wiconaIE@Wicona.com or call 01 410 5766.
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