KSG Architekten completed work on a research center in Würzburg, Germany this year. The firm utilized glazed tiles in recurrent patterns to create an expression of the work that occurs within the Fraunhofer Center for High Temperature Materials and Design facility. Ceramic is an apt choice for the exterior, given that the facility works with materials in industrial heating processes and ceramic has many uses in that field.
The designers told ArchDaily:
“During the jury session I was already convinced that the design by ksg can exactly meet our request for a both functional and expressive research building”, remembers Dr. Friedrich Raether, Head of the Fraunhofer Center HTL, the initial phase of the project, a German-wide two-phase competition. Now, about three years later, the building could be turned over to the user. On a gross floor area of 5,800 m², laboratories, workshops, furnace halls, product development areas, chemical storage rooms, evaluation rooms as well as offices and meeting rooms were laid out with an effective floor area of 2,600 m². The research focus of the Fraunhofer Center for High Temperature Materials and Design HTL is the quality improvement and material and energy efficiency of industrial heating processes.
The façade design has been derived from the traditional craquelé glazing technique and is further developed as a recurrent net pattern on the envelope. That way, the new building with its distinctive ceramic façade represents the research focus of the HTL. “Shaping research is a theme for us that opens up wonderful design scopes”, explains office partner Johannes Kister. “Glazed ceramic is fired at high temperatures, often subjected to great temperature variations and can form fine, irregular cracks on the surface. We take up this so-called crazing as a motif for our façade design and apply it to the entire façade surface in the form of a regular net pattern”, explains Prof. Johannes Kister.
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