Office Building ISC-West
The office building on Brunnenstraße was constructed at the Essen city park, near the Aalto-Opera House, the Philharmonic Hall, and the RWE-Tower. It was Mandel Architects’ desire to build a light and finely-structured house that would stand on its own and yet fit harmoniously into the surrounding environment.
Use – Office Space and Training Facility
With the construction of a five-story building on Brunnenstraße and a three-story building in the courtyard, the renter ISC West, providers of services for software training and accounting for the health insurances, was provided with 5000 sq. m effective area. In addition to office space, the building features a large computer center on the ground floor and classrooms on the top floor with a view looking out to the city park. Two stories of underground parking are located beneath the building.
Facade – “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
The facade facing Brunnenstraße and the city park has been structured in a lively manner, affording the onlooker a multi-layered view due to the alternation between different shades of pale-white-colored glass and the light-colored natural stone.
Like guilloche ornaments, the elements of the facade are arranged behind one another, each layer staggered in 4 cm recession, the aluminum cornice, the pilaster strips, the lintel encasings, and the railings, all leaving the backmost layer of window glass open. The elements, in finely graded white tones, form a playful rhythm, which becomes ever denser the closer you get to the middle where the main entrance is located. Framed like pictures, the slabs made of beautiful natural stone place a refined accent in their “hanging” before the facade.
It catches the eye of the passerby, occupying him, since the system and the proportion are not immediately comprehendible for him. The facets of the overlaying are only gradually perceived and understood:
- The increasing condensation of the natural stone elements towards main entrance in the middle
- The alternation between stone and glass pilaster strips that takes place on successive floors
- The facade elements that have been arranged in systematic layers
With the reflection of the trees in the city park on it and its own playful structure, the facade of the building is perceived as being varied and lively.
Main entrance – Open View to the Inside
The two-story foyer at the main entrance is highly visible from the narrow street already. An artistic feature is that the wall of glass, secured at several points, slants outward towards the passersby. This means on the one hand that the view is directed upwards, while on the other hand the glass wall does not reflect the bright light of the sky, and thus the view to the inside is not hindered. In the foyer, the verticality is emphasized with art designed by Barbara Böhringer and Dietmar Hofmann.