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28 PROJECT REPORT: MIXED USE SCHEMES


The most important requirement from the client was that the building be flexible, so that it could be easily adapted to future uses with different layouts


Flexibility focus


In terms of the new features of the project adapted by the designers for the site, the most important requirement from the client was that the building be flexible, so that it could be adapted to future uses with different layouts easily. This flexibility was built into spaces across the levels. The building’s extra-high ceilings – with 5.5 metres between each floor – allows for mezzanines or other level changes to be added by future users. The placement of the circulation on the outside of the building means that the interiors can be easily reconfigured, while also providing structural stability through the use of the diagonal staircases. “One of the main ideas was to create an adaptable building to allow different uses,” says Schuster. Designing for longevity was a key part of the project strategy – the clients eager to find a long-term, sustainable


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contribution to the district. There were some challenges here, however, with it being clear to the designers that in order to be able to achieve that long-term flexibility, “you had to have a little more air in the building.”


According to the architect, the maximum volume was already outlined, so the team suggested taking out a floor and building five levels instead of six, with the possibility of adding a mezzanine. “You then also have more light


inside,” adds the project architect. This, together with the external circulation and suspended balconies, allows the client to “make the most of the most flexible floor plates possible.”


Early in the design process, the idea emerged to use this external circulation, plus the cascade staircase, to unify the project as a whole. “That is now a connection back to the pavilion,” says the


ADF JUNE 2021


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