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Umdasch Information Centre
Client: Umdasch AG
Location: Amstetten 2004 - 2007
Structurally flowing compactness
Umdasch Infocenter and office block extension

Company expansions always entail a challenge for the planner, especially when – as in the case of Umdasch AG – a variety of demands and requirements have to be combined. The design is based on the precisely thought-out logistics of the individual processes

Due to the positive development of the company, Umdasch AG required a suitable training centre. Until then, the "Doka" branch (DOKA formwork technology) had been presenting its products in a makeshift tent; this problem was to be solved by presentable premises for receiving customers. The "Umdasch Ladenbau" (shopfitting group) with its Shop Show was to be integrated into the new building. Content and structure of all branches were to be focused in one building: the Umdasch Infocenter. The project also included an office block for 280 employees.

Urban planning solution
The new office building with inner courtyard continues the axis of the existing headquarters, and the U-shaped Infocenter forms a forecourt with a central entrance area and a customer car park with separate access, along the Wienerstrasse. The large cube of the Doka exhibition hall completes the complex to the east.

Architecture
A particular challenge posed by the Infocenter was that the two areas – Doka exhibition hall and Shop Show – should be recognisably independent elements, but logistically combined. The problem was solved by building a two-storey connecting block on the north side, containing a central entrance area and a lobby with a cafeteria and a restaurant for customers and employees, and training rooms on the upper floor.

The large exhibition hall had to have a counterpart of equal status, in the form of the smaller Shop Show, which was therefore elevated on stilts, with the additional advantage that the open ground floor enhances the planning concept of the L-shaped end building of the complex.

In addition, Umdasch AG wished the Infocenter to present an image of architectural competence without appearing pretentious. This delicate balance was kept by using standard materials with intelligent and detailed precision, so that the design was upgraded through understatement.

In the interior, the open-plan reception area is laid out for maximum clarity of orientation, and includes wide-ranging vertical views. The differentiated design of successive areas keeps the exhibition rooms within view of those attending training sessions. Access to the factory grounds provides a link with the primary activity of Umdasch AG.

Photos: Dietmar Tollerian, Umdasch AG, Domico
Text: Norbert Tomasi