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On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, sports brand giant adidas released photographs of a new building that forms part of the company’s corporate headquarters, ‘World of Sports’, in Herzogenaurach, southern Germany. The building called HALFTIME, with its distinctive rhomboid roof, has been designed by COBE. The Danish architecture firm was chosen from an international competition held by adidas in 2014. The building officially opened last year.
The 15,500 sqm multipurpose building sees a lively work environment because of its informal and creative meeting spaces. These spaces help foster organic networking opportunities between the building’s visitors, brand ambassadors and staff. HALFTIME has 12 workshop rooms, each one representing different sports venues, while its massive event hall that can accommodate up to 1,500 people also serves as a gym with old-school wall bars.
“A key task was to create the right atmosphere to reflect the unique adidas culture. We did this, in part, by matching the different needs with different sports, making room for big ideas and large gestures as well as a touch of humour. In addition to the event hall, which is designed as a gym, you can hold meetings at the bottom of a bright blue swimming pool, in a locker room or in the adidas founder Adi Dasler’s old workshop, complete with tools,” says architect Dan Stubbergaard, COBE’s founder.
COBE’s first completed project in Germany, HALFTIME accommodates several private and public areas such as meeting rooms, a conference centre, a showroom (for high profile brand ambassadors of adidas to meet and discuss latest design and collections), and a canteen for all the employees at the headquarters. The design is flexible and multifunctional, which fosters a process of transforming and modifying the structure for various purposes, if need be.
One of HALFTIME’s most striking features is its rhomboid roof structure – acquiring an area of 8650 sqm, it is covered in glass and comprises V-shaped concrete beams. Each beam weighs 28 tons, and is 16-meter long, adding up to a total of 3.2 kilometers. One third of the roof’s entire area is taken up by skylights, which infuse the insides of the structure with natural light.
Stubbergaard also deliberates that the structure was designed keeping in mind the numerous activities and functions of the company, and in order to bring the many internal and public functions that HALFTIME comprises, effectively under one roof. “The huge rhomboid roof covers the entire building like a carpet, bringing staff, visitors and brand ambassadors together in the same building and thus enabling more and wider contacts,” he says.
The building has pops of natural green infused at various spaces – numerous planted walls (vertical walls intentionally planted with vegetation) are seen throughout the building, along with conservatories with trees and plant beds. The use of the colour of nature is psychologically proven to soothe and calm our senses. A ceiling height of eight meters, and hefty floor-to-ceiling windows maximise visualisation and help form strong connections between the interior and exterior. Both these features create an ideal indoor climate and in turn a relaxing workplace setting for staff and visitors alike. The interiors also use natural finishes, another sustainable feature, and adds on to the fact that the building is positioned to receive the internationally acknowledged LEED gold certification.
COBE, in collaboration with Danish design brand HAY, has also designed the HALFTIME Chair, especially for the institution. Conceptualised to possess the same flexible and strong attributes as the building, the HALFTIME Chair expresses lightness and functionality in its moulded-beech veneer seat and steel tube frame.
Location: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Area: 15,500 sqm
Year of completion: 2018
Client: Adidas Pension Trust
Programme: Conference center, canteen, showroom and surrounding landscape
Design and execution team: ARGE COBE & CLMAP (lead consultant), Knippers Helbig, Fact, Bartenbach, Soda, PMI, HMP
Competition team: COBE, CLMAP, Knippers Helbig, Transsolar, COBE Berlin
Interior design: COBE
Height: 7.80–10.50 meters
Roof footprint: 8,650 sqm
Roof dimensions: 168 x 103 meters
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