Transformative Architecture & Urban Development

Tax office Husum

Expansion and new construction, administration building

The new extension of the tax office is being constructed as a 4-storey compact building on the eastern limits of the property at the intersection of Dankwerthstrasse / Herzog-Adolf-Strasse. The urban axes are reflected in the building and the interplay of perspective and proportion forms the basis for the design of the volume. A sensitive handling of the existing building and the strengthening of the location promote this basic tenor of the design idea. The special shape and material of the building create the link between history and future and the old tax office is given sufficient space with a contemporary counterpart. The gables of both buildings have the same orientation and thus emphasize their affiliation. By positioning it along the eastern border of the property, the urban connection to the south side of Mühlenau is established and the dissolved city structure around the roundabout is densified.

Project cost 5,4 Mio €
GFA 2800 m2
Period 03/2017 – 08/2017

Open 2-phase realization competition

The compact structure is divided by deliberate incisions, which means that a large building’s depth can be achieved in conjunction with a functional core. The shape of the sloping roof, which extends over the building, creates the connection between new and existing building due to the different heights of the eave. In some places, the roof and facade material deliberately address the surroundings and structure the compact volume. In the roof are quotes about traditional hip roofs and modern gabled houses. At the same time, through the conscious symbiosis of form and function, it offers the possibility to integrate technology below and above the roof without disturbing the natural elegance of the building.

The building is in solid construction with a monolithic backing made of wood fiber filled perforated bricks and a slurried facade made from recycled facing masonry. The roof is made of treated larch wood, a breathable membrane and cellulose insulation in prefabricated wood. With the local materials and the perforated facade, which is based on the opening portion of the historical counterpart, a strong reference is made to the surrounding buildings. The positions and dimensions of the windows are determined by the views and the use of the space. The urban axes continue throughout the visual references in the interior.

The height level was deliberately chosen in order to highlight the attractive forecourt on Herzog-Adolf-Straße, where the building is accessed from. The location of the main entrance is based on the location of the old building’s entrance. At the same time, the height of the building means that there is no need to make major changes to the surface of the site.

On the ground floor, the building is characterized by a flowing entrance area that lives from the exchange between corridors and communal areas. The center of this zone contains the supply and sanitary rooms and at the same time forms the static pillar of the building. Due to this structure, the area between the core and the outer wall can also be designed completely flexible for future uses.

The shared rooms and the hall shall be located in the south of Mühlenau. These are connected to an outside area that is only assigned to the tax office. The shape of the building surrounds this location and protects it from east and west weather. The connection to the second construction is enabled through the existing corridors. It is noteworthy that another staircase without an elevator should be taken into account when building the second construction. When designing the interior and exterior spaces, attention was put into common and recreational areas within or along the access zones, which is intended to promote well-being, communication and exchange between employees. The deliberate choice of materials should move from the outside to the inside to make the combination of space, function and construction tangible for everyone.

In terms of landscape, the building is to be incorporated into the topography. A smooth transition from Mühlenau to the city is created on sealed areas using green areas and highlighted elements. The focus of the design lies in the natural forms that contrast with the clear architecture. The planting is based on Husum's geographic location between the Geest and the coast. Because of their lightness, grasses and multi-stemmed, light small trees promote a direct dialogue with the new architecture. Individual large trees shall be placed consciously in order to connect to the surrounding nature. The concept deliberately addresses the tree population and enables the preservation of a large number of existing trees.