The new building for “Ottobock Worlds of Motion” at the company headquarters in Duderstadt provides a new landmark for the town. The design concept marks a consistent development of the architectural language of the Science Center Medical Technology in Berlin.
Ottobock Worlds of Motion
The new building in Duderstadt rises out of the surrounding nondescript industrial and commercial buildings like a huge white sculpture in a green park. The design concept is based on the interlocking of five rings that represent the five different functional areas of the Ottobock Worlds of Motion: workshops, academy, exhibition, patient care and administration. The circle is a symbol of movement and cohesion. Thus, the interlocking rings stand for meaningful cooperation within the company, as well as for dynamism and development. This is also applicable to Ottobock itself and the century-old history of the internationally renowned medical technology company: its products enable people with handicaps to regain mobility.
With the design of the Science Center at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Gnädinger Architects developed a corporate architecture for Ottobock that has an impact beyond the site itself. In Duderstadt this architectural language has been consistently developed with components of white concrete and a precise façade design that exemplifies the medical aspect of the products. The rounded building is encompassed by meandering, horizontal white aluminium panels. They relativize the large volume, at the same time creating elegance and lightness. Depending on the location of the observer, the convex and concave shapes have a consistently and continuously changing effect, whereby the different building functions remain recognizable in the external appearance. Ottobock Worlds of Motion thus resemble a living organism.
A key element of the design is the curved access ramps to the central entrance foyer that embrace the newly created space of Otto Bock Plaza. The visitor is welcomed beneath the huge, freely projecting canopy, from which the large entrance and exhibition hall are accessed. All other functional areas of the Worlds of Motion are reached via barrier-free ramps, stairs and lifts. Visible from afar and strikingly lit at night, the 35-metre high headquarters of Ottobock in Duderstadt rise as a reflecting glass cylinder from the plateau of the academy. A panoramic view over the mediaeval church towers and roofs and the soft landscape of the historic Eichsfeld region presents itself from the upper floors and protected roof terrace.
The patient care sector is accommodated in a separate building on the western part of the site. Here patients can be cared for in all intimacy, with direct access to a park designed for their needs.
At the centre of the design concept is an existing production building. The latter is encompassed in a new free-standing, round façade and seamlessly incorporated into the new corporate architecture of the ensemble. As a “glass factory” with a cafeteria and a new transparent façade, this building presents itself anew to visitors to the Worlds of Motion. At the same time, it houses the connecting axis between the academy, supervised parking and office tower as well as the rear patient care section with adjoining park.
100 years of dynamism and motion"
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