Zollverein School of Management and Design
Gelsenkirchener Str. 209
45309 Essen, Germany
Architect: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Project Architect: Nicole Berganski
Associate Architects: Böll & Krabel
Landscape Architecture: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Masterplan: Rem Koolhaas OMA
Structural Engineers: SAPS / Sasaki and Partners, B+G Ingenieure / Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH
Building Services Eningeers: Transplan Technik-Bauplanung GmbH with Winter Ingenieure
Air Conditioning and Energy/Lighting: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH
Building Physics: Horstmann + Berger
Building and Room Acoustics: Müller-BBM GmbH
Fire Protection: Hagen Ingenieure für Brandschutz
– Building uses water pumped from nearby, out of use coal mine
– The water maintains an average of temperature 29°C/82°F naturally.
– A heat exchanger was installed at the top of the mining shaft.
– Since the quality of the water is subpar, part of the water goes through a “circuit that delivers heat as a district heat source to the Zollverein School.” *****
– The water is pumped out at a rate of 600 m3/h
– Water is circulated through plastic pipes embedded in the concrete walls and floor.
– Inside temperature is around 18°C/°F.
Advantages of this heating method:
– The company that owns the coalmine is continually pumping water out of it from a depth of 1000 m to maintain it for possible use in the future, so the water is free.
– Carbon dioxide free heat source.
– Building’s energy consumption is 75% below regulation and heating costs are greatly lower than they would have been if standard heating sources were used.
– Instead of requiring a double-shell concrete wall to conserve heat, the architects were able to make the monolithic concrete walls very thin (30 cm/12 in)
– Monolithic construction is cheaper than double-shell concrete construction – even with the piping system
– Since the walls are so thin, the “active insulation” system actually loses about 80% of the heat through the walls, but since it’s a completely free source of energy it doesn’t really matter.
Lighting and Interior
– Though the scattered windows look like they were randomly thrown on to the facade, they were actually very carefully placed in order to achieve optimum lighting.
– “The irregular windows attempt to introduce different areas without crude partitioning.” – SANAA
– The workspaces are all arranged around these windows, and the courtyard uses natural lighting as well.
– SANAA wanted an open layout that facilitated interaction and flexibility.
– Use of concrete, glass, and simple geometries was influenced by the simplicity of the surrounding industrial buildings.
– “Concrete exterior rough and unfinished” (Kelly)
– Zollverein School designed on the idea of flexibility, and it has many functional spaces
– Each level has different ceiling heights to allow for this flexibility.
– The structure of the external walls and the ceilings also creates large, unencumbered spaces for further functionality.
– Ground Level: public spaces – cafeteria, exhibition spaces
Footprint: 35 x 35 m
Height: 34 m
Other Sources (UT Library):
Alkemade, Floris, Nicole Berganski, Ralph Bruder, Kristin Feireiss, Kazuyo
Sejima + Ryu Nishizawa, Matthias Schuler, Tom Sieverts, Deyan Sudjic, and
Roland Weiss. The Zollverein School of Management and Design. Edited by
Kristin Feireiss. Translated by James Roderick O’Donovan. Munich: Prestel
Kelly, Peter. “Zollverein School, Essen.” Blue Print, 2006, 92-98.
Thierfelder, Anja, and Matthias Schuler. “In Situ: Site Specificity in
Sustainable Architecture.” Harvard Design Magazine, 2009, 50-153.