A new live-work district is currently taking shape on a former railway site in Karlsruhe’s new Oststadt district. On Ludwig-Erhard-Allee, the artery that links Oststadt to the city centre, and close to the city’s iconic Lohfeldsiedlung residential quarter, sop architekten are constructing the new headquarters building for the Kommunaler Versorgungsverband Baden-Württemberg (KVBW).
The vast complex is broken up by a few, carefully placed indentations in the cube-like structure, its varying building heights providing an appropriate response to the surrounding urban environment. Imposing, transparent entrance areas interrupt the delicate, rhythmical façade, drawing the viewer’s gaze inside the building. Alongside a two-storey foyer with modular conference and meeting areas that can be combined to form one large space, a generously proportioned, landscaped interior courtyard provides additional recreational space.
The office space is flexible and modular, allowing workstations to be tailored to individual needs. 340 of the building’s 840 workspaces are planned as separate units for rental to third parties. The KVBW headquarters emerged as the winner of a 2014 Europe-wide design competition.