The town of Zwenkau, with 9,000 residents, is located just south of Leipzig. Over the last few years, a new neighbourhood has been developed to the north of the town, offering a high quality of life. The harbour building that is home to Sächsisches Seebad Zwenkau GmbH & Co. KG was one of the first buildings to be constructed in the area, attracting both locals and tourists. The elegant light-grey façade – partially consisting of perforated brickwork – was constructed using 510 mm-long Wienerberger Polaris wet refractory bricks.
Premium Quality, Both Inside and Out
In order to achieve the best possible result, three different architectural bureaus were invited to submit designs. It was the design from BKS Architekten + Stadtplaner from Trier that impressed the most. The unostentatious cuboid building is slightly rounded to follow the line of the harbour, and is structured around a series of recesses and projections. Balconies on the harbour side appear to be sliding out from the structure. The brick façade encases the building like a fine shell. All the recesses and breaks in the building are plastered in white, highlighting these.
Walkways link the two buildings on the upper floors. “It was important to us to have a clear view and access to the harbour and to maintain a direct connection,” says Marlene Meerfeld of BKS Architekten + Stadtplaner about this design. Building 1 is an office building, and it also houses the client’s tourist and harbour information centre on the ground floor, which acts as a central point of contact for all visitors. Building 2 accommodates two restaurants on the lower floor. The two upper floors house eleven vacation apartments, which are accessible via a balcony walkway that also lets in plenty of light from both the north and south.
A Sustainable Design
In addition to the excellent quality of the urban planning, the buildings also impress with their technical design. The external walls have a U-value of 0.16 w/(m2K), which exceeds the German EnEV 2014 energy saving regulation (applicable at the time of construction) by more than 40 percent. The façade of Wienerberger wet refractory bricks has a potential lifespan of many centuries, with very little maintenance required. “We calculate a minimum useful life of 70 years for our projects. A brick façade is far more economical than any other material,” says Schmidt. The design aimed to create a high-quality, durable and environment friendly buildings. The planners therefore chose a combination of façade bricks and plastered surfaces for the building envelope. The Polaris wet refractory bricks also enhance the visual appearance of the building, lending it a sense of vitality. It reflects the light differently depending on the position of the sun, so that the colour of the façade changes from light grey to beige and to a warm light brown over the course of the day. In this way, the design and materials work together to create a harmonious overall effect.
Project nameHarbour building on the Zwenkau headland, Germany
ArchitectBKS Architekten + Stadtplaner, Trier
ClientSächsisches Seebad Zwenkau GmbH & Co. KG, Zwenkau
Wienerberger Terca wet refractory Polaris, long format, light grey, nuanced, muted
Year of completion2016