The refurbishment work carried out by Berlin-based Staab Architekten on a high-rise building at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences has been awarded the German Façade Prize 2013 for curtain walling. WICONA provided the aluminium façade systems for the project using glazing solutions based on the WICLINE window and WICTEC curtain walling ranges.
The award was presented at an event at the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt. More than 100 entries for curtain walling were submitted to the Association for Materials and Components – the organisation that has been awarding the prize for the past 10 years.
Commenting on the Wicona project, the award judges said, “This high-rise building 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 the aesthetic challenges and functional requirements in exemplary fashion, and impressed us all.”
Built in 1963, the 60m high building was stripped back to its original structure during the refurbishment. The windows were replaced and the outer walls fitted with Wicona curtain walling. The majority of the north elevation was glazed, and the south façade was fitted with striking solar shading to prevent the interior from overheating. The overlapping 3D aluminium façade elements are fixed and require no maintenance.
A WICONA unitised window solution was developed for the project, based on the WICLINE 75 evo suite. WICTEC 50 ‘stick’ curtain walling range also featured on the project with integrated pressure plates.
The refurbishment was designed by architects, Staab Architekten, whose work has previously been recognised at the German Architecture Prize awards, and Heinrich Würfel Metallbau GmbH & Co. Betriebs KG completed the façade fabrication and installation.
The 16-storey building provides accommodation for a number of faculties at the university, including mathematics and natural science, electro and information technology, machine construction and plastics technology. The student’s union, student service centre, executive committee and the university’s central administrative department are also located in the building.