The building(s) (four square blocks each with their own central courtyard) is comprised of a factory, warehouse, testing facility and office, housing the headquarters for Igus, a ‘high-tech’ plastic products manufacturer, which produces thousands of new products every year lending itself to a rapidly changing programme and requiring the production facilities to be constantly re-configured. The building’s design gives the capacity to change the internal factory layouts rapidly and frequently and also allow for the building to be scaled either larger or smaller in halves depending on the company’s every changing business needs. Over the 17 years, the facility has grown from 4,500m2 to 20,000m2 in size.
An open-lattice steel mast structure (spans of up to 33m) enables column free spaces that are interchangeable between factory and office use to include multi-functional pods designed to be moved from place to place. The exposed services are easily accessible, maintained and changed located overhead to avoid disturbing the manufacturing process. Changes to the façade have been done often to correlate with internal layout changes and can be done by simply loosing and turning the aluminum clamps that are secured to composite mullions. The grid used for the cladding (2.25m wide x 1.05 tall) is coordinated with the internal square blocks and bay dimensions and can incorporate a variety of finishes and elements including solid insulated aluminum panels, operable insulated double-glazed windows, louver panels (for ventilation & services) and a variety of door types.
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