Photo © David Franck

Trumpf Campus

Barkow Leibinger Architects

Stuttgart, Germany

The Architects Developed A "Soft Master-Planning" Approach

By Clifford A. Pearson

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From 1997 to 2010, Berlin-based Barkow Leibinger Architects worked on the master plan and architecture of an industrial campus that breaks down the traditional divide between “blue”- and “white”-collar workers and establishes a flexible blueprint for future growth. Located in Ditzingen, outside of Stuttgart, the expanded and reorganized campus has helped the Trumpf Group become “the world’s leading machine-tool manufacturer” and grow to 7,000 employees around the globe, state the architects. In addition, the company’s recent success at exporting its products has allowed it to weather the current economic storm without laying off any employees, says Barkow Leibinger.

Instead of applying a single corporate identity to the entire campus, the architects imbued each phase in the master plan with a degree of “autonomy” based on its programmatic needs and design expression. They also developed a “soft master-planning” approach that allows the company to adapt to changing needs and future acquisitions while enjoying a holistically conceived complex.

The first two phases, in the late 1990s, involved building a new laser machine-tool factory and then a technical systems facility on the west side of the campus. The new buildings brought together production halls, offices, and laboratories, eliminating the usual hierarchies of corporate rank. In the first part of the 21st century, Barkow Leibinger designed a new Customer and Administration Building, a gatehouse with a dramatically cantilevered canopy, and then a campus restaurant with an attention-grabbing ceiling made of polygonal cells set within a triangular steel frame. The firm also renovated an existing spice factory on the east side of the campus and expanded it.

Underground tunnels connect the entire campus and allow people to move around in all weather. By converting old buildings to new uses, incorporating energy-saving technologies, and applying sustainable design strategies, the architects say they help the company reduce operational costs. And by creating a workplace that instills pride in employees, they improve performance and help the company attract and retain the best talent.

Barkow Leibinger Architects
Schillerstraße 94
10625 Berlin | Germany
fon: +49.30.31 57 12 -0 | fax: -29

Stuttgart, Germany

Completion Date: September 2009

Total construction cost: $194 million

Gross square footage:
964,070 sq.ft. (total planning area:  1,819,100 sq.ft.)

May 2011
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