Can a Warehouse Become a lake? Let's see! Print
Friday, 16 April 2010 08:11


Who said that warehouse construction has to be ugly. Is this building type condemned to the cookie-cutter box of the pre-engineered structures and always stripped to the bare necessities of its functions. It is certainly not the case for this project in Münster, Germany that went beyond the conventional standards; adding new features that help in humanizing the machine.
BOLLES-WILSON-02Markus Hauschild © BOLLES+WILSON

This is the third BOLLES+WILSON building for the German-wide furniture chain RS+Yellow, an extension of the home-base storage and distribution centre by 7,000 m2. The new rectangular building volume stands adjacent to the original 1992 corrugated aluminium warehouse.


The 60 x 66 m two stores ‘Big-Box’ is reduced to a regular grid of pre-cast columns and wide-span floor slabs, as dictated by the common pactices for industrial architecture. Facades are cladded with a standard lightweight concrete system. Verticality is emphasized with 'pyjama'-like colour stripes interspersed with zinc coated grid stripes. These help inserting windows and all necessary ventilation outlets into the uninterrupted colour curtain.
BOLLES-WILSON-04Rainer Mader © BOLLES+WILSON

This warehouse and even perhaps the 1,500 m2 of offices above the delivery bays have been built with the industrial precision required by their function. The big surprise comes on arriving at the rooftop meeting rooms and executive offices. Through the intervention of the fire brigade (choreographed alarm) the roof of the building has been flooded – a 45 x 65 m reflecting pool. The edge detail, laser levelled into invisibility, increases the metaphysical unreality of this sky reflector. Underwater compartments alleviate the risk of mini-tsunamis. Spillage is collected in edge channels and channelled to an internal cistern.
BOLLES-WILSON-03Markus Hauschild © BOLLES+WILSON

A wooden boardwalk fronts the large format sliding glass facade. A pier extends out to the centre of the water world. Here one can sit surrounded by geometric groves of bamboo. From here the south facing glass front of the roof pavilion reflects again the rippling expanse of water. The facade itself is shaded by a projecting steel pergola and a curtain of louvers descending at the press of a button from its outer edge.
BOLLES-WILSON-01Markus Hauschild © BOLLES+WILSON

This choreographed overlap of inside and outside, of natural and artificial, of direct and reflected light, create a unique atmosphere which could be described as an industrial scaled Japanese Tea-House.
BOLLES-WILSON-05
Plan+2  © BOLLES+WILSON