Extraordinary zipper-like exterior shades mixed-use high-rise
Though it's officially named the RKM 740 Tower, J Mayer H's recently completed mixed-use high-rise building is undoubtedly destined to be better known by its more interesting nickname of the Zipper, coined due to its eye-catching shading exterior.
Bringing to mind one of Alex Chinneck's works of architectural art, the Zipper is situated next to the Rhine River in Dusseldorf-Heerdt, Germany and has a stepped form that creates multiple terrace areas.
The building's defining metallic exterior definitely helps it stand out. However, the studio is also keen to assert that the zipper-like design goes beyond mere novelty and actually has some practical merit.
"The unique panorama view over the Rhine and Dusseldorf makes the building striking," explained J Mayer H. "The conception of the perforated metal curtain facade allows for a gentle arrangement of open and closed areas. On the east, south, and west sides of the building, the wavy shell opens generously while also offering shade and wind protection. On the north side, the facade is closed to provide sound insulation from the traffic. Like a zipper, the transitions between open and closed are gradual and allow for flexible adaptation during the process of development over the years."
Inside, the high rise has a floorspace of 22,000 sq m (236,000 sq ft), which is spread over 20 floors, and has an interior decor that puts the focus on maximizing natural light.
The lower six floors of the building are given over to a combination of medical facilities including group practices, specialists, and therapists, which complement a nearby hospital. The fourteen floors above feature a mixture of different residences, which offer generous terraces, balconies, and rooftop gardens.
The project was only recently completed but has been in the works for a very long time, having originally won an architecture competition back in 2011. J Mayer H also has something of a penchant for eye-catching exteriors and its previous works include the transformation of a dull office building with a modern facade.
Source: J Mayer H