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Westhouse Augsburg

In Bavaria, a multifunctional centre has been created that combines work, leisure and meeting under one roof. From the outside, a noble silver-grey wooden facade is impressive, which also helps the building to blend in perfectly with its surroundings.

4WΓ€nde Management GmbH
4WΓ€nde Management GmbH
Augsburg, Germany
  • Lignosil-Color
  • Lignosil-Verano
  • Soldalit
  • Soldalit-Coolit

Multi-use and hybrid construction

"To offer people a place of encounter, inspiration, engagement as well as reflection on the essentials in life." - That is the idea behind the Westhouse on the outskirts of Augsburg. Especially today, in a fast-paced, digital age and after various pandemic-related lockdowns, places of encounter are becoming more important again. People long to meet, celebrate and work together and relax. These needs are met by the multifunctional Westhouse meeting and event centre.

Thus, a building complex for social and commercial use was created on 7,000 square metres. It combines church, education, everyday work, sports and overnight accommodation and creates meeting spaces for young and old, for individuals, clubs, event organisers, church communities and companies. Above the elongated two-storey building rises the inclusion hotel "einsmehr", which also consists of two storeys and also employs people with disabilities and offers temporary flats in addition to hotel rooms. Furthermore, the Westhouse has a bookable sports hall, a bistro with a view of the greenery, a 450 square metre event hall with space for 480 guests as well as co-working areas and differently equipped seminar rooms.

At the heart of 4WΓ€nde's building philosophy is the sustainable construction of the planned buildings. Accordingly, this aspect is also important for the Westhouse, which was built using the timber hybrid construction method. Wood replaces the building materials concrete and steel where possible. "The big challenge here was to implement the fire protection requirements of building class 5 in timber construction or timber-steel-concrete hybrid construction. Thus, the two basement floors, the staircases as well as the floor slabs of the ground floor and the first floor are made of reinforced concrete. The outer walls, the two-storey event area and the office floor as well as the hotel wing, on the other hand, are completely made of timber frame construction and with floor slabs of glulam," explains Gerhard Hab. Two special features of this construction method are, on the one hand, a lattice girder construction made of beech, which supports the storey above the sports hall, and, on the other hand, glulam double trusses that span through the event hall and convey a special feeling of space.

Sustainable in every respect

In the choice of building materials, great importance was attached to the use of sustainable and regional products, so the timber frame construction came from Augsburger Holzhaus GmbH and the glulam elements were supplied by the Aumann company from Ziemetshausen. The responsible persons commissioned regional construction companies to carry out the work. The sustainability concept is complemented by heat pumps and photovoltaics on the roof, so that the KfW55 standard is met. Gerhard Hab adds: "From the point of view of the building's life cycle, we also made sure that it is possible to separate the components by type as far as possible when the building is deconstructed." Furthermore, the load-bearing structure of the wooden post-and-beam walls is insulated with mineral wool for fire protection reasons. The outer finish of the exterior walls is formed by a curtain-type and rear-ventilated timber façade made of rough-sawn tongue-and-groove profiles in a 3-dimensional look from Ladenburger.

Simulierte Patina

The wooden facade was given that certain something with a mineral pre-greying from Keimfarben. The silicate greying glaze KEIM Lignosil-Verano, which simulates a silver-grey, patinated wood look as it is created by several years of weathering on natural wood, was used on the entire wooden formwork. By deliberately foregoing a protective function, a coat of Lignosil-Verano fades into natural greying over time. For the narrow timber formwork elements, those responsible chose the opaque silicate colour coating KEIM Lignosil-Color to set them apart from the other areas in a dark grey shade. "We opted for these mineral, diffusion-open systems with high colour stability because we were convinced by the natural materials. In addition, after painting with these products, the facade is maintenance-free, robust and can still be repainted after 20 years." Furthermore, the mineral pre-greying without the addition of biocides and solvents fits perfectly into the sustainable concept of 4WÀnde, because the company Keimfarben, based in Augsburg, is also regionally based. The 1,500 square metres of wooden façade elements were coated by machine in the factory.

Into the future with recognition

The fact that 4WΓ€nde was able to keep to the difficult price calculations in the building trade led, among other things, to Gerhard Hab and his team receiving the building prize of the Fritz Bender Foundation 2021 for their project "Westhouse Augsburg". The decisive factors were also the use of local wood, the efficient energy concept and the operation of the hotel with disabled people. - The guests also appreciate the Westhouse: "Our rooms are already well booked for next year. The sports hall is our secret highlight. Only a few times a week are still available here, that's how high the demand is," Gerhard Hab proudly reports and continues: "The hotel is also doing well, and there is currently only one space left in the co-working area - so the demand is there. Likewise, our bistro is popular six days a week."

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