The new building of the Municipal Administration Centre is located in the town centre and, as a direct neighbour of the Göppingen railway station, is an important component of the “Reorganisation of the Station Area” as part of the master plan for the Göppingen 2030 urban development process. In terms of urban planning, the elongated, four-storey new building provides a significant impetus for improving the area around the railway station. Parallel to the stretched-out north façade, the beginning of a pedestrian promenade is to be created, leading into a revitalised urban area.
The administrative building was initially designed to accommodate the entire municipal administration, which was to be brought together here. However, the building was able to prove its flexibility even before it was ready for use. When an expanding listed company based in Göppingen was looking for larger premises, the city offered it the administrative centre as its new headquarters.
Despite considerable conversion work necessitated by this unforeseeable change of user, the essential architectural elements were retained: on the outside, the sculptural shape of the elongated building, and on the inside, the single-flight staircase that provides access to the entire building. It makes the building tangible across all floors, creates important sightlines and also forms a connecting communication zone.
In order to blend the oblong structure into the rather small-scale neighbouring development, it was divided into five sections on both longitudinal sides. In each section and alternating with the respective neighbouring segment, one or two storeys were recessed. This gives the design sculptural energy, and the segmentation of the building creates valuable open spaces in the form of terraces on each level.
The urban planning framework conditions also played a decisive role in the design. The main entrance functions as an important interface between the building and the station forecourt and was emphasised accordingly. The entrance hall was originally intended to house the new citizens’ office and was therefore designed to have a higher ceiling height than the other floors. To protect the staff from the car and pedestrian traffic on both sides, the ground floor is designed as a mezzanine.
In terms of sustainability, all options were explored down to the last detail. The brick façade, for example, was chosen as it is largely maintenance-free, and the mineral wool insulation was the most ecological solution possible. Cradle-to-cradle recycling aspects were also taken into account. Essentially, energy for heating and cooling is generated via a wastewater heat exchanger, and a good part of the electricity demand is covered by a PV system.
Finally, the relatively uncomplicated repurposing of the building, which now serves as the headquarters of an internationally active company instead of a municipal administration building, can also be regarded as sustainable planning and construction.