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Balzers Neugruet Depot

The clear and compact volume of the new depot closes a gap in the northern edge of an industrial estate. The three functions of maintenance yard, fire station and recycling centre are housed in a single building where multifunctional rooms encourage interdisciplinary interaction. The two main halls are clustered with recreation rooms and teaching spaces in a two-storey ring around central material rooms and workshops. Both halls have roofed forecourts. The new facility is divided lengthwise into three areas: fire engine shed, service zone and depot parking. Two layers of recreation rooms and teaching spaces form a two-storey frontage to the west, while the linear recycling collection point forms a spine towards the east. A vertical protrusion to the north houses the maintenance depot’s salt silo and the fire station’s hose tower. The single-storey service areas in between are lit through domes in the ceiling, while the two-storey halls are lit through both side walls. Structurally, the entire new building is conceived in timber, with bearing elements legible in the interior. Timber planks of varying width provide the outer skin. By omitting every second plank around the recreation rooms and teaching spaces, a filtering element emerges which still allows the façade to retain its uniform appearance.

Design Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Martin Ladinger, Christian Schmoelz, Michael Abt, Emanuel Gugele
Client: Balzers Local Council
Competition 2007, 5th prize