Extract from the entrant’s explanation
The building is based on the geometry of a diamond, which, as a stand-alone feature, is set freely in the landscape, forming a spatial and visual connection between the North Campus and the South Campus. It is divided into four sectors according to function, which are either adjacent or merge into each other. The divided MEET&EAT areas are located on one level, both facing the South Campus (front of house). MEET is located in the west section of the building facing the Olympia ring. EAT is to the east. The corresponding access in the northeast is located opposite the South East Office, which means the east section of the building, pending the construction of the new office block, forms more of an internal adidas area.
Arranged on a split-level based on the natural topography, the promo section occupies the north end of MEET&EAT. The promo section is somewhat spatially removed from the MEET&EAT sections, despite their great visual proximity, ensuring the privacy of the respective users. In the north section of the building, PROMO and EAT overlap. The EAT counters are inserted below the split-level in the promo section with the back of house behind them.
In the open area between the supporting core and shear walls, appointed spaces provide room for formal and closed meetings, discussions and workshops. The “enclosed gardens” (hortus conclusus) set into the building divide the building spatially and visually. A multipurpose, all-embracing roof hovers over the site. With its striking structure, MEET&EAT emphasises the connection between the North and South Campus – both internally and externally. The cascade-like facade emphasises the close integration of MEET&EAT with the landscape.
Although vast, the project locates the volume of construction under a continuous roof. The south section is reduced by one storey and is therefore located at the same level as the function rooms under the north section. The spaces in the building are arranged at right angles to the longitudinal and transverse axes of the basic diamond shape throughout, and require little in the way of connecting corridors. This results in a compact arrangement and references in several directions. Well-tailored inner courtyards usefully supplement the division of space. Continuous slats in the roof are banked in some sections to give the interior a distinctive appearance and allow light to enter from above. The strict application of the inner geometry in conjunction with the basic shape of the building is represented in a layered glass facade of pleasing proportionality. The project exhibits a high degree of functionality and sensible building use as well as an astoundingly high level of flexibility. However there are a number of reservations.
For example, the exit staircases are placed directly adjacent to the food counter and multipurpose hall, and crossing the restaurant area requires long walking distances. The lack of escape routes in the multipurpose space is another matter that remains unresolved.
The delivery area is too tight, as are some of the technical service areas and secondary rooms. However the basic layout and open system for dividing space are sufficiently flexible to allow for modification. The capacity of the roof structure to accommodate the necessary technical installations and yet still form an attractive “fifth facade” is highlighted as a particularly positive feature.
Overall, the project is of a simple design and has a coherent supporting structure. The building fits well into the entire WoS site as a pavilion structure, under a roof that admits a lot of light. With its deep silhouette and basic diamond shape it complements the office building opposite in an understated manner. The only issues needing further discussion are the layered ends of the slatted structure and the strict reduction in the choice and use of materials.