thyssenkrupp is a company with a history stretching back over 200 years and many good traditions. That’s one of the reasons why in 2010 the Group built its new headquarters, the thyssenkrupp quarter, in Essen. Comprising a total of 13 buildings, the open-plan campus is located right next to the Krupp family’s ancestral home. It provides a modern and convenient working environment for employees.
Sustainability is key to our strategy – and to our quarter
Sustainability requirements were taken into account in the planning and realization of the buildings and open spaces.
This is reflected among other things in an efficient energy supply concept, the predominant use of locally available or produced materials, and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system for the buildings.
Office buildings heated by geothermal system
The expected primary energy demand for the office buildings is 20 to 30 percent lower than required by law. To date, few such energy-efficient buildings have been realized in Germany, particularly buildings with large glazed areas.
The thyssenkrupp quarter uses the heat and cold stored in the ground. For this, ground loops were installed at depths of up to 100 meters in the roughly 900 m² “geothermal field”.
The sun protection system gives the main building its “face”
The geothermal system is supported by the external sunshades. Some 400,000 centrally controlled slats provide protection from the sun comparable with conventional external blinds.
The vertical slats have the advantage that they provide much better visibility and remain fully functional even in severe winds.
Before construction work started, the entire site of the quarter was examined for possible legacies from almost 200 years of industrial history. With the assistance of experts, contaminations were professionally disposed of.
On the whole site around 400,000 m² of earth was moved and used among other things for the construction of the Krupp Park. The greening of the quarter site with more than 700 trees is exemplary. Together with the generously dimensioned water axis, they significantly enhance the micro-climate of the entire site.
For the innovative “rainwater separation system” in the quarter, the Emschergenossenschaft water management association presented thyssenkrupp with its “Watermark” award. The “Watermark” honors projects making sustainable use of rainwater.
2/3 of the site is unpaved, allowing most of the rainwater to drain away and be returned to the water cycle. Throughout the quarter, rainwater on the roofs of the buildings (around 25,000 m²) is collected and fed among other things to the lake in the Krupp Park.
Our quarter: A place for dialogue and communication
Over 3,200 employees from the Group’s parent company and all five business areas currently work in the thyssenkrupp quarter.
The aim is to enable all functions and units in the Group to communicate directly with each other face to face. We want openness to be our way of life, and the campus was designed with this in mind.
The “shell/core” principle
The basic design of all campus buildings reflects the harmonious interplay between architecture and space, as a symbol of dialogue and communication. All buildings consist of at least two L-shaped volumes surrounding a shared central space. This creates two types of façade – one facing the central space with the courtyards and atriums (the “core”) and the other facing outwards and relating to the open spaces (the “shell”).
The warm, sunny colors of the sheet metal of the “core," which is illuminated in the twilight and night hours, create a strong contrast to the rough, metallic external “shell.”
A lot is also going on under the “green carpet” of the thyssenkrupp campus: A clever logistics system has been created underground.
Generously sized underground garages connect all buildings in a sophisticated traffic system, keeping the entire campus car-free.
Avenue of the Worlds
The “Allee der Welten” (Avenue of the Worlds) in front of the Q2 forum reflects the international character and global reach of thyssenkrupp. The 68 trees planted here come from five continents.
In the selection process, attention was paid to creating diversity within the campus – similar to Essen’s Hügelpark where the Krupp family once planted trees from all over the world.
Two 25-meter-wide and 28-meter-high windows in Q1 open up the view into the interior space from the south and north and at the same time provide an outlook over the campus and far beyond.
The lack of frames or sash bars on the windows creates the initial impression that the panoramic windows consist of a single giant pane. An equally important role is played by the slender support structure for the windows. For this a point-fixed glass system was used in which the panes are clamped to a vertically and horizontally pretensioned cable truss facade. The panoramic windows thus not only provide transparency – they are also an engineering masterpiece symbolizing the innovativeness of thyssenkrupp.
Made by thyssenkrupp
Materials, production processes and innovations – naturally we put our entire expertise into building the thyssenkrupp quarter. And not just the obvious elevators and escalators, but also steels and innovative processes (f.e. Electrical steel, LITECOR, Carbon2Chem).
The sunshade system consists of stainless steel slats which rotate on a vertical shaft to automatically adjust to the position of the sun. And when no sunshade is required, the slats can be turned outwards and closed.
This specially created sunshade system is the building’s visual calling card, as the altogether 380,000 slats give the building a face that changes according to the incidence of sunlight – on sunny summer days and in stormy weather the facade is closed completely and shines in a silvery glow, while on cloudy days the glass facade peeks through.
Manufactured by thyssenkrupp Nirosta from a chromium- nickel-molybdenum stainless steel, the slats are polished on one side and grit-blasted on the other. As a result they appear matt or glossy depending on angle of vision and light conditions – and direct the incoming light indoors in such a way that the offices remain bright enough even if the sun protection is closed.
After the processing of the metal strips, 116 to 160 slats were mounted onto each shaft. The slats turn around the shaft and respond precisely to the signals from the electric drive system.
Elevators and escalators
The elevators in the thyssenkrupp quarter – which like the escalators were of course made by thyssenkrupp – boast a whole range of special features.
The six elevators in Q1 convert the energy produced as the cabs are slowed into electricity and return it to the power supply. Two of them are TWIN elevators, in which two cabs arranged one above the other run independently in a single shaft.
The shimmering, champagne-colored metallic elements used on the facades of the business area buildings in the thyssenkrupp quarter and in the interior of the central Q1 building are made of steel. Or to be more precise, premium-quality organic coil-coated steel sheet.
As well as meeting ecological requirements, these steel panels can be produced in colors specially designed to harmonize with the surrounding area. The manufacturing process is also innovative. The addition of 1 percent magnesium allows reduced coating thickness while increasing corrosion protection.