Septembre 2021

"Europan16 - Living Cities: Ettlingen"


Home Office - Office Home

How the World could react on changes due to Work Life Balance and the progress of sustainable behavior


The home office experience was new for most of us and it made us reflect our working conditions. Especially during the last two years it turned out not to be the promising and advantageous alternative one was hoping for. The spatial separation of living and working is a functional as well as a design principle, which is not only long-established but also makes sense in wide parts. Each and every one of us who has had to work in their home offices made the experience that it is important and beneficial for body and mind to separate work and relaxation.

But the home office was not all bad. At one hand we had to accept that our most private and personal places became offices and our bosses moved into the living room or all of the sudden sat next to us at the family dining table. At the other hand it was to master one's own work organization and time: to spend the morning checking e-mails in the café, to go to the park in the midday slump, to do sports or simply take a nap, to hang up the laundry and, if there was no other way, to work only 6 hours and be with one's child. In short, we experienced a more needs-oriented and self-determined way of working than what we were used to from the former working places in office buildings.

These positive aspects of the home office are to no small extent the consequence of certain spatial-functional qualities: a workplace with all the advantages of one's own living environment, functional diversity and short distances. So if we release work from our private sphere again and think of a work environment that is embedded in spatial structures of a mixed, dense urbanity, then a home office should be thought as an office home.


the area is clearly divided in its accessibility. as a working person, you arrive at the station by bicycle or rent one, you ride over for a short time, cross the bicycle lane, park your bike and continue the rest of your way to work on foot into the interior of the quarter.If you are a driving person, you only have the option of using the parking garage, wich is accessed via the main road. this is also where all deliveries come from, but they only find their destination via the delivery road in the south. postal and parcel delivery staff are forced to store their goods temporarily at the Park & Post HUB in order to be able to transport them further by bicycle afterwards.



The name of the part of the "Office Home" located inside the "Blec" is self-explanatory. The village structure provides space for a cozy working environment on a small scale. If you are a working person who does not feel comfortable in open-plan structures or stenotypical offices, you will find the personalized Office Home here. Not only is the work here more family-oriented, but also the apartments, some of which are located on the upper floors, can be flexibly equipped as apartments or expanded and developed into larger flats for families. On the first floors, there is also plenty of space for offices that want to present a public image on the streets, independently of their commercial background.


The pure office building facing the main street in the east has a depth of 22m and is nearly 170m long. The row building shields the rest of the area from all the noise emissions coming from the street. The north-east corner bordering two streets forms the characteristic, iconographic, urban high point. The first 5 floors are characterized by a standardized, double-sided office structure with a communication area in between. The last floor with teir terrace and the even higher tower can furthermore provide additional quality places with stunning views over the suburb. only the strict east-west orientation can guarantee sufficient lighting. Towards the "Promenade Boulevard" the enormous building structure dissolves a bit more. especially in the upper floors, which seldom exceed the third floor, more view axes and terraces can be found again due the a higher level of tranceparancy.


The Name „Blec“ stands for „Block Linear Edge Closing“ - a building that follows the course of the street and defines the urban corner as such. towards the center, together with the open-plan office structure, it forms the entrance to the main promenade towards the south or center and its plaza. Towards the south-west, the closed building structure also leads into the interior of the quarter via the small square on the bicycle road and the community stairs. In addition to the hughe amount of smaller offices and mergers of individual office spaces for cooperating companies, "Blec" contains numerous apartments on the upper floors, which further offer a view over the park that will be created in the future and the landscaped sports facilitie fields towards the setting sun.


The large parking garage on the southeastern edge of the office district can offer more than just shelter parking cars. The flexible building structure makes it possible to convert the parking garage into a functioning residential or office building after a few years, as soon as the need for vehicles decreases. Throughout simple interventions (for example, the cutting of an atrium) the bulding can be used in different ways. It also includes a packing station. Workers either pick up their letters and parcels themselves, or the local post office stores the goods here temporarily, so that they can then be transported further into the neighborhood on freight bicycles.


An adequately dimensioned square forms the heart of the neighborhood. Screened from the freeway by extremely wide and tall office buildings, open to the bycicle Lane to the west, the square was dimensioned in such a way that it never seems really crowded or unpleasantly empty. A large central seating staircase invites people to socialize between raised beds and the popular indoor kitchen. It’s all located in the middle of the most central uses: the Post-& Park-HUB, the kindergarden, the cafeteria, small cafés and bistros, and the Supermarket. In addition to that all streets open onto the square, including the "Promenade Boulevard". The square is also easily accessible via the bicycle path.


Dense streets, tightly packed houses convey a taste of far eastern urbanity. Front gardens, however, loosen up the strictly gridded streetscape with despite projections and recesses lend the atmosphere a suburban character. Coziness and familiarity prevail despite huge first floor layouts. The lofts in the lower, easily accessible offices have an outdoor area. the second and thus highest floor offers space for co- working spaces and apartments. The terraces further enhance the quality of habitation.


The two story high cafeteria forms the heart of the entire eighborhood. Together with the large upstream community square, it offers the possibility of a regular get-together. The adjacent supermarket also serves as a supply point during the lunch break. It can be accessed from the only delivery road at the rear by car or truck to bring fresh product from all over the region nearby.


The first built sector of the neighborhood consists of manufacturing industry. Fab labs and factories are located here. The southern part of the planning area offers plenty of space for large industrial halls and their storage areas. a road with a wide cross- section runs around the zone, enabling both delivery to the producers and to the entire area. Noise emissions are shifted to the edge to ensure quieter areas towards the north.