Architecture

Sustainable office is draped in a curtain of greenery

Sustainable office is draped i...
Over time, the greenery growing on ASI Reisen Headquarters' facade will continue to grow and eventually completely cover it
Over time, the greenery growing on ASI Reisen Headquarters' facade will continue to grow and eventually completely cover it
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ASI Reisen Headquarters features generous glazing
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ASI Reisen Headquarters features generous glazing
ASI Reisen Headquarters features a tasteful wooden interior decor
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ASI Reisen Headquarters features a tasteful wooden interior decor
ASI Reisen Headquarters is situated just south of Innsbruck, Austria
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ASI Reisen Headquarters is situated just south of Innsbruck, Austria
ASI Reisen Headquarters' metal frame creates a balcony area for employees on the western side of the building
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ASI Reisen Headquarters' metal frame creates a balcony area for employees on the western side of the building
ASI Reisen Headquarters features some greenery inside too, in the form of potted plants
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ASI Reisen Headquarters features some greenery inside too, in the form of potted plants
ASI Reisen Headquarters' interior is kept a comfortable temperature with a heat pump system that's connected to an underfloor heating and cooling system
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ASI Reisen Headquarters' interior is kept a comfortable temperature with a heat pump system that's connected to an underfloor heating and cooling system
ASI Reisen Headquarters is partly powered by roof-based solar panels
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ASI Reisen Headquarters is partly powered by roof-based solar panels
Structurally, ASI Reisen Headquarters consists of mostly timber, as well as a concrete core and basement
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Structurally, ASI Reisen Headquarters consists of mostly timber, as well as a concrete core and basement
Over time, the greenery growing on ASI Reisen Headquarters' facade will continue to grow and eventually completely cover it
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Over time, the greenery growing on ASI Reisen Headquarters' facade will continue to grow and eventually completely cover it
ASI Reisen Headquarters' considerable greenery is irrigated with captured rainwater, which is stored underground
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ASI Reisen Headquarters' considerable greenery is irrigated with captured rainwater, which is stored underground
ASI Reisen Headquarters' timber is treated using the traditional Japanese Sho Sugi Ban method of charring the wood to protect and preserve it
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ASI Reisen Headquarters' timber is treated using the traditional Japanese Sho Sugi Ban method of charring the wood to protect and preserve it
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The Snøhetta-designed ASI Reisen Headquarters already features significant greenery on its exterior, but over time the plants will continue to grow and envelop it, providing shade for the workers within. The building's grid-based energy use is minimized with considerable sustainable technology too, including a rainwater collection system and solar panels.

The ASI Reisen Headquarters was commissioned by a sustainable travel company of that name and is situated just south of Innsbruck in Austria.

It's primarily constructed from timber, however the basement and building core are reinforced concrete. The timber on the exterior has been charred by the traditional Japanese Sho Sugi Ban method of burning wood to protect and preserve it, lending it a distinctive dark appearance.

The entire building is wrapped in a metal screen, which allows plants to grow and there are also plants in the gardens surrounding the building, and inside too.

"A 'green curtain' of climbing plants growing on a suspended metal frame covers the blackened wooden facade, ensuring the building blends harmoniously into its verdant forest surroundings," says Snøhetta. "Composed of 17 different warm weather and evergreen species growing in big planters, this green curtain also serves as a glare shield and for shading the generous glass surfaces. On the western side, the employees can use this metal frame as balcony. The 118 climbing plants change the appearance of the facade throughout the year and thus also adapt to seasonal thermal insulation needs. The microclimate created by this green buffer zone reduces the energy required for cooling the building."

ASI Reisen Headquarters' metal frame creates a balcony area for employees on the western side of the building
ASI Reisen Headquarters' metal frame creates a balcony area for employees on the western side of the building

All of those plants will need watering and, with this in mind, Snøhetta has installed a rainwater collection system which holds captured water in an underground cistern. This is then used to feed an automatic irrigation system for the plants on the facade and in the garden.

The roof is covered with solar panels, which are used to reduce the building's draw on the grid, plus a heat pump system is connected to underfloor heating and cooling. Additionally, sensors are also used to measure room temperature, humidity, CO2 and more, and operate ventilation flaps as required.

The interior measures 1,548 sq m (16,662 sq ft), spread over four floors, and is arranged in an open plan layout that hosts 65 employees. These enter into a double-height foyer nicknamed the Base Camp, while elsewhere are communal working areas and meeting rooms, as well as a cafeteria. The building's generous glazing ensures ample natural light enters within, and the decor shows off the natural beauty of the uncovered wood.

The building was completed in late 2019, but was only just revealed due to Snøhetta wanting to wait for the greenery to grow and for the building to be in use, in addition to some issues related to the current pandemic situation.

ASI Reisen Headquarters features generous glazing
ASI Reisen Headquarters features generous glazing

Snøhetta has a lot of experience with sustainable design and is responsible for the world's northermost energy-positie building, a prototype sustainable home, and a system for retrofitting old drafty buildings into green homes.

Source: Snøhetta

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