Hadi Teherani Architects has completed a new building complex that marks the cityscape of Freiburg im Breisgau and bears the name Volksbank-Areal. Centrally located directly across from the main railway station in Freiburg, the complex officially inaugurated on September 29th is gateway to the city and calling card in one. The team around Hadi Teherani developed all design-related aspects under one roof, from architecture to interior planning to product design.
A decisive factor in design work by Hadi Teherani is the “genius loci”, the sense of continuity and authenticity associated with a certain location. The specific characteristics of the Breisgau region consequently became the leitmotif for the entire architecture. It incorporates local references and transposes them into a contemporarily elegant design language. A sensitive interpretation of the city’s identity with its wealth of tradition and the world-famous Black Forest mark the starting point for the drafting process. The vertical louvre-blade structure of the façades picks up on the idea of trees in the forest in an abstract manner, an idea consistently applied in the interior architecture as well. The Interior Design division at Hadi Teherani proceeded to draw on local building tradition when furnishing the interiors at this branch of the Volksbank bank. Dark, anthracite-coloured areas and stainless steel stand for timeless style. White walls and warm accents such as wooden slats made of natural oak generate the right “temperature” in an intriguing interplay of contrasts. The element of “wood” comes increasingly into play at Hotel Courtyard by Marriott too, a part of the complex, creating a homey atmosphere in all the rooms. The blue glass mosaic stripe in the floor is reminiscent of the legendary brooks in Freiburg and simultaneously serves as orientational guide.
Multiple structures within the whole complex are grouped around a greened inner courtyard with two separately accessible outdoor terraces, creating oases of tranquility in the midst of town. The 12-storey tower of Volksbank-Areal is visible from afar and equally composed of several two to three-storey blocks whose exteriors are slightly staggered via projections and recesses.
A fundamental role in the drafting process was particularly played by the aspect of sustainability: Volksbank-Areal was awarded preliminary certification in gold by DGNB, the German Sustainable Building Council. 90 per cent of the materials from the previous Volksbank branch were recycled and partially reused for construction work on the new building complex.
The multifunctional property measuring 43,000 m² unifies a diversified urban quarter involving a variety of uses from the educational, social, business, hotel and gastronomic sectors. Among other facilities it houses the new headquarters for Volksbank Freiburg, foundations at the Archdiocese of Freiburg, rooms from the secondary school St. Ursula Gymnasium, a hotel, offices and space for retail shops.