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Gesamtschule Wasseramselweg

A new comprehensive school is being built in Cologne-Vogelsang. The six-form entry comprehensive school Wasseramselweg is a joint project of the Cologne-based construction company Friedrich-Wassermann GmbH & Co. KG in co-operation with Goldbeck West GmbH. It will provide a learning centre for over 1,300 children and young people.

The idea of a lively school
The new school campus is to become a living organism, representing a „small city within a city“. To realise this educational and spatial concept, Wasseramselplatz was chosen as the location for the comprehensive school. This choice of location offers the school plenty of space for movement.

The design
Several functional cluster units are lined up along a school street. These learning units were designed as 3-4-storey cubes separated by internal courtyards. A large open space was left in the north of the site. This is used for the pupils‘ sporting activities, but is also intended to be used for breaks. The comprehensive school also has a new multi-sports hall, which was completed in summer 2022.

The design architects
The design idea for the new comprehensive school comes from the architects at Cologne-based v-Architekten. With their imaginative design proposal, they won the multiple commission.

Sustainability a high priority
When planning the Wasseramselweg comprehensive school, a special focus was placed on the topic of sustainability. Both the use of low-emission materials and the energy efficiency of the school complex were important parameters. The comprehensive school was largely designed as a passive house with a heat pump and solar system, giving it an energy efficiency standard of 40 EE. DGNB Platinum certification is also being sought.

Daginstitution Sønder Trander

The project ‘Daginstitution Sønder Tranders’, entails the new construction of a Kindergarten called ‚Markmusen‘, built for the Municipality of Aalborg in Northern Denmark, which represents a pioneering approach to sustainable childcare architecture. Designed by Krogh Arkitektur, for the client AaK Buildings, the Kindergarten is being built by contractor Arne Andersen Vrå A/S with EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører as the consulting engineer. Together, they are dedicated to realizing a sustainable and nurturing space for 50 infants in daycare and 100 kindergarten children.

The project is seeking certification through the Danish equivalent of the DGNB system, aiming for DGNB Gold for its commitment to ecological principles and community integration, as well as the special distinction DGNB Heart for its special focus on indoor climate and well-being, and thus sets a high standard for environmentally responsible childcare infrastructure.

The guiding philosophy behind this project emphasizes a deep connection to nature and the utilization of existing surroundings. The goal is to create a nurturing environment that promotes a sense of belonging and fosters learning and openness. Safety, security, and accessibility are paramount, ensuring peace of mind for both children and caregivers.

Architecturally, the Kindergarten seamlessly blends with the natural landscape, aligning its structure with the contours of the land. This not only enhances visual harmony but also facilitates intuitive navigation for occupants. Additionally, careful planning separates pedestrian and vehicular traffic, ensuring a tranquil arrival experience.

In summary, the Daginstitution in Sønder Tranders exemplifies the transformative potential of sustainable design in the realm of childcare architecture. It serves as a beacon of innovation and environmental stewardship, providing a blueprint for future projects aimed at enhancing both community well-being and ecological integrity.



Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute (University of Southern Denmark)

The expansion of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute (MMMI) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) represents a significant stride towards creating an innovative hub for technological advancement. The project aims to enrich the academic landscape with state-of-the-art facilities and sustainable design principles.

Located in Odense, aspiring to become the world’s foremost hub for robotics, the new Dreamlab at SDU marks a pivotal step towards realizing this vision. The MMMI, renowned for its research in robotics, AI, and drones, has undergone a remarkable transformation with the addition of a striking new building designed to inspire future inventors.

The construction, supervised by the Danish Building Authority, entails a 4,500 m² extension in four floors, featuring workshops, laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, group spaces, and communal areas. Situated to facilitate physical connectivity with surrounding buildings, the extension enhances accessibility within the Technical Faculty, fostering synergy with related environments. The project is a collaboration with lead engineer EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører, Cubo Arkitekter, the project’s lead architect, Kristine Jensen Tegnestue, responsible for landscape planning, and Etos Ingeniører. Under the guidance of EKJ the project is seeking DGNB Gold certification emphasizing its sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The new building, seamlessly integrated with the university’s technical faculty, is connected to the existing institute and the rest of SDU via footbridges and an underground tunnel. At its core lies a creative space open all the way to the roof, providing students with ample room to work on their projects. Complementing this expansive project area are laboratories and group rooms designed as transparent glass boxes, fostering visual connectivity and collaboration.

With accommodation for 500 students and 100 staff, the new facility promises to be a unique learning environment. The building’s design prioritizes acoustics and sound insulation to ensure that diverse activities can coexist harmoniously.

The expansion of MMMI is generously supported by the A.P. Møller Foundation, reflecting a commitment to advancing educational and research initiatives. SDU’s vision for additional space aims to accommodate the growing influx of students and the expanding research and educational environment at the existing institute.

In summary, the expansion of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute exemplifies a harmonious blend of architectural innovation, sustainability, and educational advancement. Positioned at the forefront of technological research, the new facilities promise to nurture the next generation of innovators, bridging theory with practice in a dynamic learning environment.


Alphagon Office

Alphagon Office Building, a new IT Hub, nestled in the centre of Budapest stands as a testament to progressive design and environmental consciousness. With 4669 square meters of leasable space spread across its ground floor and five upper levels, complemented by underground parking on level -2, this small-sized office building redefines modern workspace standards.

Crafted by an esteemed award-winning studio in collaboration with the renowned TuC team, this building embodies a visionary approach to urban development. Rooted in two fundamental pillars—certification and sustainability—every aspect of its design reflects a commitment to excellence.

Embracing the ÖGNI/DGNB guidelines, the journey towards certification excellence was guided by architects with unparalleled expertise in LEED and BREEAM standards. Under the leadership of chief architect Mr. Andras Reith, a stalwart advocate for sustainability, this building emerges as a beacon of environmental stewardship.

From the commencement of construction in June 2019 to its timely completion in December 2020, meticulous attention was paid to every detail, ensuring a seamless blend of functionality and aesthetics. Welcoming its inaugural tenant in February 2021, Alphagon sets a new benchmark for contemporary workspace environments.

Alphagon goes beyond conventional sustainability practices, pioneering innovative solutions to reduce environmental impact. Through concrete core activation for heating and cooling, optimal thermal comfort year-round is ensured, while minimizing direct air flow from traditional A/C systems.

In the builders pursuit of sustainability, they prioritize local producers, sourcing materials like prefabricated panels from Hungary. Recognized for their dedication to environmental responsibility, Alphagon proudly holds an EU Taxonomy certificate, obtained through rigorous study and collaboration.

Looking towards the future, Alphagon is poised to further elevate its sustainability efforts with the imminent installation of a solar panel system on the southern facade. Expected to cover 25% of our electricity demand, this initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to a greener tomorrow.

Discover a workspace that transcends boundaries at Alphagon, where innovation and sustainability converge to redefine the possibilities of modern office environments. Join us in shaping a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.


Van der Nüll Gasse

Circular refurbishment in practice: a Wilhelminian-style building in Vienna’s Favoriten district becomes a pilot project

Van der Nüll Gasse 22 – an existing property owned by Sedlak Immobilien – is to be refurbished and the construction company DI Wilhelm Sedlak GmbH is determined: „We want to implement what everyone has been talking about for some time and start the practical test.“ For the first time, a building is being refurbished to be recyclable in accordance with the EU taxonomy, taking into account the technical assessment criteria published as a delegated act by the European Commission in June 2023. The focus is on solutions that are as economical and scalable as possible and can be implemented at moderate cost.
The building in question is a Wilhelminian style building from 1885 that has been renovated several times. There is nothing left of the classic façade from this period; from the outside, it is more reminiscent of a building from the 1960s. According to an initial study, new apartments and offices are to be built here on a gross floor area of 1,650 m², part of which will be created through redensification in the form of three storeys in the loft conversion. The project was launched in June 2023, construction is scheduled to start in early 2025 and be completed in early 2026.

What does circular construction actually mean?

„A prerequisite for the realization of taxonomy-compliant renovation is the fulfillment of the criteria of one of the six environmental goals without causing significant damage to one of the other goals at the same time. The environmental goal „transition to a circular economy“ is of immense importance for the construction industry in particular, as the construction industry consumes more than a third of the world’s resources and the potential savings are correspondingly high,“ explains Simone Grassauer, Managing Director of SCALE Umweltberatung GmbH, which is supporting the project.

In concrete terms, circular construction and renovation means Extending the useful life of the building – through planning that includes conversion options and guarantees ease of use, as well as using materials and technologies with a long service life and dispensing with primary raw materials in favor of secondary raw materials – i.e. reusing what is already there or using recycled materials, and reducing waste during construction that cannot be recycled. In addition, a dismantling concept for the end of the building’s useful life must be considered at the planning stage. A life cycle assessment must be drawn up for the building over its entire service life from the start of renovation. And the materials used in the building should be able to be reused at some point, for which a digital building resource passport is required as a material database – so that it is also visible what and where,

And how exactly do you prove that the building has actually been refurbished to be circular?

Margarete Berl, project manager at Sedlak Immobilien, knows: „Level(s) is an approach developed by the EU to verify and assess the sustainability of a building over its entire life cycle, not to be confused with building certification. The EU taxonomy also refers to this in the technical criteria for the environmental objective ‚transition to a circular economy'“.

The process is supported by new software from SCALE, which can be used to simulate the environmental impact of the building depending on the materials used – a BIM-based building model is a prerequisite for creating the life cycle assessment and enables greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental indicators such as primary energy requirements or acidification potential to be optimized during the planning phase by comparing different building materials in the model.

„A precise survey of the existing building and subsequent potential analysis are essential for successful planning. We – the client, planners, structural engineers, building physicists and builders – are in close contact; the much-cited integral planning is a reality here,“ explains Margarete Berl. It is exciting and challenging to take the step towards circular construction and requires new, creative, open-minded thinking in sometimes unfamiliar ways. From today’s perspective, there is no way around it, as the available raw materials are dwindling worldwide.

The progress of the project can be followed on a BLOG on the website of DI Wilhelm Sedlak GmbH.

Further information:

Headquaters Containex

The office building along the A2 highway marks the next milestone in the development of the WALTER GROUP. It impresses with its hexagonal shape and large window areas.

The first floor has a transparent design, while the six upper floors contain office spaces. The roof houses technical facilities and a green area with photovoltaics for optimum energy efficiency.
The façade is horizontally structured and equipped with fixed sun protection slats. The building offers a flexible division of office space thanks to the minimal use of load-bearing structures and the arrangement of columns mainly in the façade area.
In addition to the foyer with co-working zones, the first floor also houses back offices and sanitary facilities. An extended co-working area, meeting rooms and a canteen are accessible via access controls.
The building is accessed via two interlinked stairwells and three elevator systems. The office floors offer conference rooms and central meeting zones with a room height of 3 meters and heated/chilled ceilings.
When designing the building, great importance was attached to flexibility, resource conservation and energy efficiency. The WALTER GROUP is thus investing in a modern and flexible working environment in order to create the best working conditions in the long term.

Alnatura Arbeitswelt

The Working Environment (, or “Arbeitswelt” in German) forms the nucleus of the Alnatura Campus in Darmstadt. On a piece of land, formerly occupied by the Kelley Barracks, a building which follows the principles of holistic and sustainable architecture was created. The Alnatura Working Environment was not designed to impress but instead to invite: it is open towards its environment, for new ideas, and even more importantly, towards people. 

Alnatura Working Environment: A Visit 

A new plaza leads to the main entrance on the east of the building. “Tibits”, the vegetarian restaurant to the left of the entrance invites visitors to a special culinary experience with more than 40 different home-made dishes on offer. 

Having stepped through the generous entrance portal, the curved lines of the different floor levels draw the attention of the visitor upwards toward the timber roof which is suffused with light. It is immediately apparent that almost nothing here gives the visitor the feeling that this is a conventional office building. 

The whole of the ground level has been designed as a place where people meet:  It is a space for communication where Alnatura staff can meet with visitors in an easy and informal setting. 

Upon entering the atrium of the new Alnatura Working Environment the feeling is similar to being out in the open air: the roof and transparent front facades let in so much sunlight that the whole interior is lit as bright as daylight. 

Thanks to the selection of materials – wood, loam and untreated concrete – the building exudes an air that is natural, unpretentious, fresh and appealing.  

A workshop for ideas. 

The atrium is a space that has been designed to breathe, exerting a special pull on everyone inside the building. And no matter of on what level of the building you find yourself, the view afforded is always exciting and full of variation. Through the transparent west façade visitors are greeted by the tall fir trees of the neighbouring Westwald which are so emblematic of the region. 

In spite of the building’s clarity of form, its strength and dimensions, the sense of movement created by the curved edges of the different floor levels adds a playfulness and lightness which surprises its visitors who, judging the building by its outward appearance, would have expected a different kind of interior. Flights of stairs, bridges and walkways form connections, enriching the spatial experience. The roof slopes embrace the atrium without delimiting its space. 

Openness and curiosity are characteristic traits of the building. 

Visitors are welcomed at a curved, wooden reception counter and can make themselves comfortable in the waiting lounge. A conference center and its servicing functions – wardrobes and lockers – are at close quarters. Boundaries between public and private spaces blur, effectively supporting the overall design concept. 

The new Alnatura Working Environment thrives on its internal networks – in a very literal sense. Bridges, flights of stairs and walkways link the different levels. Pervading the space as intermeshing pathways they create horizontal and vertical neighbourhoods. Thanks to this, the office areas situated on 3 levels are interconnected in a playful manner. You can always get to where you need to be quickly and efficiently. That being said, there is also a lift to take people up, of course. As such there are no barriers. The Working Environment is not split ad infinitum into individual departments, enclosed compartments and confusing corridors: instead it comprises a single large space extending between the facades, from the ground floor up to the roof without any interfering partitions, offering employees and the company a wide range of different uses and breaking with the dogma of rigid office layouts. 


The Design Architects 

haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050 is an architecture practice founded by Martin Haas, David Cook and Stephan Zemmrich. With a staff of 30 team members the studio works on urban planning and architecture projects around the world, striving for solutions which will create humane environments with minimum impact on the environment. 

The architects’ ambition is to create architecture which enriches people’s lives in the long term, offers meaningful innovations and delivers cultural added value beyond the mere fulfilment of technical briefs. 

 As co-founders of the German Green Building Council (DGNB) and lectureships at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia USA and the University of Oregon the partners belong to a big architectural network developing innovative and sustainable architecture. 

Press contact: 

haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050 Photos: 

Teodorina Angelovska-Meissner  Roland Halbe, Stuttgart 

Phone: +4971122936260 Phone: +497116074073