The headquarters of Bosch Automotive Steering is located in scenic surroundings at the end of a valley north of Schwäbisch Gmünd in Baden-Württemberg. Wooded hills surround the factory site, which is crossed by two streams.
The comprehensive project comprises the spatial and structural reorganization of a portion of the company premises, including the renaturation of the two existing streambeds and redesign of the open spaces. Architecturally, the reorganization is divided into the construction of three key components: a new customer center, a new reception building, and a parking garage with a capacity for more than 800 cars. The slightly convex curved facades of the reception building and the customer center not only achieve high-cost effectiveness in terms of enclosed volume and surface area but also create space in a visually pleasing and efficient manner.
The ground floor of the customer center – with lobby, cafeteria, and a conference and events area – is designed as a shared base that constitutes the center of the new office building. Above the base, the building divides into a five-story section at the south and a seven-story section at the north. This articulates the building mass, as architecturally desired, while also establishing stepped heights that follow the topographic environment. The southern part of the customer center has a rooftop terrace where people can gather, linger, or even hold meetings. The building’s convex shape affords efficient office layouts: the cores for circulation and sanitary facilities have been consolidated in the center, allowing for the optimal arrangement of the individual and open-plan offices and the conference areas.
The facade at the ground level is designed as a glazed, transparent connection to the surrounding outdoor space, giving the spaces inside a bright and airy character. The glass facades are designed with perforated, rotatable vertical slats in front, which filter the surrounding space and make it possible to vary the amount and quality of light that enters inside. The wayfinding system (designed by büro uebele) inside and outside the buildings adopts the basic square shape and colors of Bosch’s previous signage.
With its organic shape, the two-story reception building echoes the architectural expression of the adjacent customer center to the north. Both floors of the new building contain seminar and conference rooms for both internal and external use. The aim of the project was to create a high-quality and modern work environment, both indoors and outdoors, that vitalizes the site as a whole.
Architects: wulf architekten
Area: 32422.0 m²
Photographs: Brigida González
Manufacturers: Colt, Lamilux, Allplan
Competition Team : Alexander Vohl, Daniela Scholz, Camilo Hernandez
Planning Team: Alexander Vohl, Ingmar Menzer, Daniela Scholz (PL), Julian Baun, Manuel Cabezas, Marcus Ehrhardt, Seda Ersal, Fabian Geiger, Bartek Grzanka, Patrick Müller, Philipp Wagner
Client: Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH, Schwäbisch Gmünd
Construction Management: Alber & Schulze Baumanagement GmbH, Stuttgart
Landscape Architect: Jetter Landschaftsarchitekten, Stuttgart
Wayfinding System: Büro uebele visuelle kommunikation, Stuttgart
Project description courtesy of architects