The new Financial Authorities Building for the City of Karlsruhe is located in a neighbourhood characterized by the Wilhelminian style of the late 19th century, with perimeter block development along the streets. The plot itself is inside one of those blocks: at its western side, it is adjacent to the former perfume and soap factory “Parfümerie- und Toilettenseifenfabrik Wolff & Sohn” which today is a listed landmark building, housing the Karlsruhe police headquarters. With its consistent volumetry and its clear architectural language, this new building manages to give new order to a heterogeneous situation which formerly was more like a backyard. The constructive and three-dimensional formation of the structure results in a well-balanced urban component which responds to the urban spaces and constitutes a precise constructive finish to the edge of the block. The footprint is reduced to a minimum.
The character of the new Financial Authorities Building is timeless and self-confident. Thanks to its architectural language and materialisation, the new building achieves a connection between the old and the new. The calm fair-faced concrete facade grid comes to life by the direct use of the material, the rhythm, the subtle 3-dimensional profiles, and the way the glass elements are fit into the facade. The facade with windows reaching all the way to the ground gives testimony to the high degree of flexibility and variety of use in line with the building’s functionality.
By crossing a paved forecourt, visitors reach the two-storey foyer with its direct access to the counsellors. A combination of fair-faced concrete, light-coloured furnishings, stone floors, and accentuated wooden surfaces creates an inviting atmosphere. On the upper floors, the clever arrangement of functions creates open interior spaces. Here, everything can be realised, from the classic office-for-one via combination zones to open-plan areas. The building concept provides free spaces where you wouldn’t expect them.
The new building lives up to passive house standards, ensuring high energy efficiency. On its green platform roof, a photo-voltaic system has been installed.