Refurbished university building wins ‘German Façade Prize’ with Wicona solution

The refurbishment of a high-rise building at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Germany, which features a distinctive aluminium façade solution from Wicona, has received the prestigious ‘German Façade Prize’ for its curtain walling.

Wicona is one of Sapa’s aluminium building systems brands.The redevelopment of the 1960s building, which spans 16 floors, was designed by Berlin-based Staab Architekten to reinstate the scheme’s iconic status as the tallest building in the area and a distinctive landmark on the city’s skyline.The tower was completely stripped back to its original concrete structure, the windows were replaced and the outer walls were created with Wicona curtain walling.The north elevation, which faces the city center, features narrow strips of glazing and contrasts with the south elevation, which has striking 3D-metal façade elements for solar shading.

The bespoke façade design was developed by Wicona in conjunction with fabricators Heinrich Würfel Metallbau GmbH and Co Betriebs KG, based on WICTEC 50 “stick” curtain walling with integrated pressure plates, and the WICLINE 75 evo window system for natural ventilation.

Following its completion, the project team was presented with the façade award from the Association for Materials and Components in recognition of the scheme’s outstanding design. The ceremony took place at the German Museum of Architecture and more than 100 entries were submitted for the façade prize, which has been awarded for the past 10 years.

The panel of judges said, “Darmstadt University 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 both the aesthetic challenges and functional requirements in exemplary fashion, and impressed us all.”

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600450 Refurbished university building wins ‘German Façade Prize’ with Wicona solution

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