Festo is one of the
technology industry leaders for pneumatic control systems and power
tools. The designer of their new headquarters, Architect Jaschek,
collaborated with Festo to create a building that spoke of the company's
technology driven and ecologically sensitive design approach.
The Architect designed six finger-like buildings that are connected by a central spine. The central spine serves as the entry area for each of the fingers. Of the five interstitial spaces between the finger masses, three have been covered with Vector Foiltec's state-of-the-art Texlon system, converting them into dynamic multi-function atrium spaces.
The Architect envisioned the roof to be light and transparent, and at the same time climatically responsive. Texlon ETFE cushions span the barrel vault structure over varying distances between 13m and 21m. The Texlon system also includes an integrated shading system intended to keep solar gains to a minimum, enabling the atria to be temperature controlled without mechanical cooling systems.
The patented Texlon system responds both to climatic conditions and to the occupants' needs, providing variable shading throughout the pneumatically operated roof. For the Festo design, the foils were printed with a checkerboard pattern. The upper layer of the three layer system with a positive pattern and the middle foil with a negative. By adjusting the position of the middle layer relative to either the top or the bottom of the system, the transparency and the insulating value of the roof can be adjusted.
The structural system, consisting of small diameter, steel hollow sections and interior cables, supports most of the suction loads from the roof and the integrated glass end wall facade, and completes the ultra lightweight nature of this landmark project.