Projects Corporate Headquarters in Baden-Württemberg

Corporate Headquarters in Baden-Württemberg

Rethinking Lanscape -
Terraces for 1.500 workplaces

Typology Office Construction volume of approx. 134,800m² Architect kadawittfeldarchitektur Collaborative commissioning agreement Spring 2016


#New build for company headquarters in Baden-Württemberg with 1500 workplace

The symbiotic relationship between landscape and building divides the structural volume into tolerable components and gives the new office building an identity of its own.

Photo HG Esch

This new national corporate headquarters is located in a rural-like setting on the outskirts of a spa town in Baden Württemberg. The aim was to use the undulating plot between fruit orchards and small-scale developments to create space for 1500 employees with a range of associated functions. Rather than creating a single monolithic structure, the design, which was the result of a collaborative commissioning process in 2016, features a differentiated ensemble that blends in with the surrounding landscape. The large volume of space is separated into a terraced complex with five separate buildings, interwoven by a natural flow of green featuring planted roofs, terraces and courtyards, and a joint boulevard base below that generously connects all elements. Due to the staggered arrangement of the upper floors, the individual houses are adapted to the height of neighbouring developments. The topography with a total height difference of 11 metres is made use of by partly setting the structures into the ground in order to make the large scale of the project less conspicuous. The symbiotic relationship between landscape and building structures the volume in a compatible way and provides the ensemble with a unique identity.



Photo HGEsch

The result is an office complex in a garden-like environment characterised by many advantages for everyday life at work, such as natural light, healthy air, beautiful scenery and visual links between the varied indoor and outdoor spaces. There is a view into the surrounding green from each desk and most areas benefit from natural daylight. Communal areas have access to exterior space, providing opportunities for informal communication and working outside.

“Green roofs, inner courtyards and leafy interstices allow the surrounding landscape to flow through the new building and shape the future working environment of the new corporate headquarters. The boulevard connecting the buildings links the individual buildings and, with its communal areas, restaurants, conference and training rooms, forms the communicative heart of all departments.”
Gerhard Wittfeld


Competition variants
Work model
Site plan
July 21st, 2018
Greetings from Bad Wimpfen

The structure at our building site in Bad Wimpfen is rising.

posted by
Holger Giesen
Photo HG Esch

The lush green vegetation flows between the different structures with their Y, U or ring-shaped floor plans and widens at the middle to form a central forum. Dependent on their functional requirements, the individual structural components are accessed from the surrounding streets. The clearly visible main entrance with a large forecourt is positioned between the two south-facing buildings. In addition, there are two entrances to an underground car park and a ground-level logistics zone for deliveries, which includes a column-free space to test innovative concepts for new stores. The incorporation of the many different functions leads to a varied spatial mix that, like a small town in the countryside, meets the high demands of today’s collaboration.




Photo HG Esch

The significance of the exteriors and their design is particularly important for the overall concept that has been modelled on the surrounding landscape. The planted areas guide nature into the ensemble of buildings, play a key role for the microclimate and natural cooling of the building, improve water retention and, at the same time, fulfil important functions in daily work routines. The communicative centre of the development, for example, is designed not only as a meeting point but also as an element with an identity-forming effect.


Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch

Organic shapes, flower beds and seating areas create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere outdoors inviting colleagues to exchange ideas and work outside.

Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch

The offices are distributed according to the various departments among the individual buildings. In keeping with today’s requirements for modern work environments, the office space has been planned with flexible zones, which promote concentrated and productive work in the same way as they encourage informal meetings and exchange among employees as important elements of day-to-day business. The levels with different room depths allow for a wide range of typical office typologies, ranging from cellular, grouped and a combination of both to open-plan offices, which are alternated with individually designed communication and meeting areas. The result is a stacked arrangement of office platforms surrounded by planted terraces that promote the overarching concept of the design.


Ground floor plan

Die Büroräume verteilen sich den Fachbereichen entsprechend auf die einzelnen Baukörper. Heutigen Anforderungen an moderne Arbeitswelten folgend, wurden sie als flexibel bespielbare Flächen geplant, die Konzentration und Produktivität ebenso fördern, wie sie informelle Begegnung und Austausch als wichtige Elemente des Arbeitsalltags anregen. So lassen die Ebenen mit unterschiedlichen Raumtiefen ein breites Angebot an gängigen Bürotypologien von Einzel- über Gruppen- und Kombibüros bis zum Großraum zu, die sich mit individuell gestalteten Kommunikationszonen und Begegnungsorten abwechseln. Es entstehen übereinander gestapelte Büro-„Plattformen“ mit jeweils vorgelagerten Grünbereichen, die das prägende Thema des Entwurfs fortsetzen.

Photo HG Esch
Photo Brigida González


Grundriss Erdgeschoss

Besides providing access to all these functional areas, the boulevard level is also a meeting place; this is where exchange takes place and inspiration is found, which complements and enriches the work performed in the offices above.

Boulevard floor plan | UG1

In addition to the more sparsely arranged upper floors, the joint boulevard level below the five structures is a key element of the design. As a distribution and shared space, it connects the departments in the individual buildings with the communal zones, including, for example, the foyer, a conference and training area with a multimedia room, the corporate restaurant, a gym and logistics centre, in a very natural way.

Photo HG Esch

After traversing the foyer from the ground floor entrance, a wooden flight of stairs descends down into the boulevard zone, which can also be accessed directly from the upper underground car park level. By taking advantage of the difference in the site’s elevation, the nominal upper basement level is transformed into a varied, light space full of atmosphere, the actual centre of the new building. It is from here that the boulevard level spreads into several exterior zones on the landscaped plateau. Whereas a variety of lounge areas function as gathering places for informal meetings, the planted courtyards enable light to flood into the interior.

Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch

Neben der aufgelockerten Struktur des Ensembles ist die gemeinsame Boulevard-Ebene unterhalb der fünf Baukörper prägendes Element des Entwurfs. Als Verteiler- und Gemeinschaftsebene verbindet sie auf selbstverständliche Weise die Fachbereiche in den einzelnen Häusern mit den gemeinsam genutzten Räumen wie Foyer, Konferenz- und Schulungsbereich mit Multimediaraum, Unternehmensrestaurant, Fitness sowie der Logistik. Über die Erschließung all dieser Zonen hinaus ist diese Ebene ihrerseits zugleich Ort der Zusammenkunft; hier finden Austausch, Begegnung und Anregung statt, die das Arbeiten in den Bürobereichen ergänzen und bereichern.

Photo HG Esch

Durchquert man das Foyer am ebenerdigen Haupteingang, taucht man über eine hölzerne Freitreppe vom Erdgeschoss hinab auf die Boulevard-Ebene, die auch direkt aus dem obersten Tiefgaragengeschoss erreichbar ist. Den Höhenunterschied des Geländes nutzend, wandelt sich das nominell erste Untergeschoss zu einem lichten, abwechslungsreichen Raum, der zur atmosphärischen Mitte des Neubaus avanciert. Fingerförmig ausgreifend, öffnet sich die Boulevard-Ebene über mehrere ebenerdige Verbindungen nach draußen auf die begrünten Landschaftsplateaus. Unterschiedliche Aufenthaltsbereiche dienen als Treffpunkt für informelle Meetings, während bepflanzte Höfe weiteres Tageslicht hereinlassen.

Photo HG Esch

A modern fitness area for employees is a further feature of the new corporate headquarters. Similar to the foyer, the gym can be accessed from the boulevard via a wooden stairway that doubles as seating. While this zone also opens up to the exterior space, lush green vegetation forms a natural buffer to the neighbouring buildings.

Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch

There is a fluent transition between the restaurant’s outdoor area and an embankment with steps that double as seating. The result is an open-air venue with sufficient space for 500 spectators. In addition, there are green roofs, courtyards planted with perennials and shrubs, and, to the east, more landscaped terraces that step down almost three full storeys from the centre of the development. With indigenous plants and shrubs, the terraces function as a green buffer to the neighbouring residential estate and offer employees a place to step out, linger and relax.

Photo HG Esch

The corporate restaurant with a large kitchen able of preparing 1500 meals at lunchtime has a spacious south-facing dining area. It surrounds a kind of “market square” with counters offering a variety of food and is divided into six zones each with a different atmosphere. Ranging from quiet retreats and slightly more open areas to lively urban settings, they cater not only to the individual needs of the employees at lunchtime but also the functional requirements of, for example, working and business lunches. There is a seamless connection between the interior space with seating for 436, offering a sweeping view across the fruit orchards, and the landscaped exterior zone for 162. The range of dining facilities is supplemented by a café, an event kitchen and a smoothie bar with indoor and outdoor seating in the boulevard area. A catering and hospitality kitchen, both located next to the reception desk, cover the needs of events that take place in the conference and multimedia rooms.

Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch

Der Außenbereich des Restaurants leitet zu einer Böschung mit Sitzstufen über. Mit Platz für bis zu 500 Zuschauer*innen entsteht damit ein Veranstaltungsort unter freiem Himmel. Hinzu treten begrünte Dachflächen, mit Sträuchern und Stauden bepflanzte Innenhöfe und im Osten weitere Landschaftsterrassen, die vom Zentrum des Areals rund drei Geschosse hinableiten. Mit heimischen Gehölzen und Stauden fungieren sie als grüne Pufferzone zur benachbarten Siedlung und bieten sich den Mitarbeiter*innen zum Entspannen und Verweilen an.

Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch
Photo HG Esch
Foto HG Esch

The fact that the architectural and interior designs originate from a single source has led to a perfectly coordinated balance of continuity and variation in the indoor space. For example, zones full of atmosphere have been created on the boulevard level where, as is the case for the ample stairway connecting the foyer to the lower floor, special attention has been paid to the transitions. All areas are generally dominated by natural colours and surface finishes, except for a few splashes of colour which are used to highlight particular features. The hue within the colour palette distinguishes between quieter and more dynamic zones. The holistic concept of the interior space is complemented by a signage and orientation system developed by the Stuttgart-based office uebele.

A breathable clay wall in the boulevard leads to a better indoor climate through its moisture-regulating effect and with its recessed seating functions as a place to retreat or have a brief chat with colleagues


Photo HG Esch

The idea of layered landscape panels is continued in the facade. Thus, the horizontality of the terraced architecture is emphasized by the continuous bands of the streamlined structure. Large glazed areas with filigree glass parapets enable daylight to penetrate into the depths of the building. The glass alternates with ribbed bands of ochre-coloured ceramic tiles underlining the horizontal flow of the separate floor levels. In addition to a mechanical ventilation system, the triple glazing is combined with windows that can be opened according to individual needs in the offices and exterior shading devices.

Lower ceramic profile with additional shaft
Drawing David Baros

1 Ceramic tape
2 Grating cover
3 Smooth soffit
4 Integrated sun protection
5 Security system
6 Fixed glazing
7 Window sash
8 Integrated impact pane

Photo HG Esch

Die Fassadenausbildung führt den Entwurfsgedanken geschichteter Landschaftsplatten fort. So wird die Horizontalität der terrassierten Architektur durch waagerecht verlaufende Bandstrukturen unterstrichen. Großzügige Verglasungen mit filigranen Glasbrüstungen holen das Tageslicht weit in die Räume herein. Sie wechseln sich mit ockerfarbenen, profilierten Keramikbändern ab, die die fließende Linienführung der Geschossebenen betonen. Dreifache Wärmeschutzisolierung verbindet sich, in Ergänzung zu einer mechanischen Frischluftversorgung, mit nach individuellen Bedürfnissen öffenbaren Fenstern in den Bürobereichen und einem außenliegenden Sonnenschutz.
Die Planung berücksichtigte zudem von Beginn an die Lebensdauer des Gebäudes, wozu unter anderem die Verwendung recyclingfähiger Materialien zählt. So sind die Terracotta-Platten der Fassade ausschließlich mechanisch und klebefrei montiert, sodass sie einschließlich ihrer Unterkonstruktion sortenrein trennbar bleiben.