Roof-Top Office Sanichaufer

LocationDudelange, LU
Gross floor area 750 m²
Volume 2.250 m³
Budget 1,5 million €
Project period 2009-2010
Photographer Joerg Hempel, Aachen

Our roof top project is the extension of the headquarters of Sanichaufer. Sanichaufer is one of the biggest firms in building services engineering, with over 50 years of experience. Sanichaufer’s main fields of activity are heating, air-conditioning and central control systems. For this reason, the “roof-top office” is designed as a showroom displaying the most modern building technologies.

Urban context / shapeshifter: The construction laws demand the adaptation of the roof type of the adjacent buildings on a sixth of the façade width. However, the client wanted a cubic extension with a flat roof. The design combines those two opposites. The “mansard-object”  picks up the ridge height of the left neighbour while the cubic shapes of the “roof-top office” as demanded by the client gets alined with the right building.

The two seemingly opposite shapes become one consistent design by using color gradients. The gradients seem to create a movement that ends in the base of the “roof-top office”, visually dragging it underneath the “mansard-object”.

Color gradients: The combination of the different forms takes place with the help of grayscale gradients. The form follows the shades and vice versa. A subtle game. It alternates the opposite forms of the „Mansard object“ and the „roof-top office“, as well as the different degree of the shades that seem to break out of the façade at the joints of the different parts.

The interior design picks up the subtle interaction between colors and forms. The new mocks the old, color mocks shapes, straight lines the curved ones. The walls and ceilings of the new areas are designed completely in white.

The design intents to produce a neutral empty space in which only the gradients generate forms and movements. In some areas the visitors of the new building are abruptly confronted by old parts of the building, areas, where the interaction of old and new generate or reinterpret new space.

The “roof-top office” becomes the CI of Sanichaufer, not only because of the architectural language but also because of the energy efficiency of the roof-top built in timber construction. Because of its function as showroom, the latest state-of-the-art in heating and air-conditioning is used.

A central control unit with touch panel and IPhone user interface manages the controlling and fine tuning of the installed systems. For Sanichaufer, the focus was not only on energy savings and energy efficiency, but also on the use of renewable energy like solar energy and green electricity.