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Gericom Headquarters
Client: Gericom AG
Location: Linz 1999 - 2001
Industrial function and poetry
Gericom AG office reconstruction and new factory building

Amid industrial structures, extensive warehouses and factories, rail-tracks, docks and cranes, an old administrative building was converted and a distribution centre added. Both had to comply in appearance and function with the ambitions of an international computer manufacturer.

When the Gericom Company settled in these monotonous functional surroundings, they wanted to remedy the deficiencies of their insignificant 1950s building, gain more space and project a company image through a striking piece of architecture. The addition of a warehouse and a distribution centre was also designed to resolve the problem of the inadequate escape routes in the former warehouse, which had served as a production plant.

Conversion of the office building
The two-storey entrance hall at the south-west corner offers a spacious entrance and reception area, with a central staircase leading to the other areas. After the security check, the employees reach their workplaces via the connecting bridge on the east side; this determines the layout of the external and internal routes. The ground floor is used purely for sales, while the administrative and sales offices are on the first floor. On the second floor is the recreation area with works canteen and conference rooms.

Industrial poetry
The existing windowed street façade was faced with a layer of perforated corrugated metal sheeting, which is advantageous for the particular light situation and gives a prestigious impression on the side facing the busy industrial road.

This solution for the façade is a fanciful, poetic allusion to the rough surroundings of the harbour area – not out of arbitrary formalism, but from the functional demands for sun protection. Poetry and function are combined in this highly individual façade.

Distribution centre
On the ground floor, adjacent to the production plant on the south-west side, are all the necessary premises for storage and handling; connected to the office building by a bridge at first-floor level; with a staircase tower on the east side, this serves as the new main entrance to the production area. Here, too, the appearance is enhanced by the use of inexpensive plastic web panels and subtle detail. The translucent façade eliminates the otherwise forbidding character of comparable factory buildings and allows bright daylight into the working area. In addition, during the warm season employees use the flat roof as a terrace, with a magnificent view over the docklands.

Photos: Dietmar Tollerian
Text: Norbert Tomasi
Architecture: factoryDA