Design Meinhard von Gerkan
Project leader Ulrich Hassels, Joachim Zais
Project team Walther Gebhardt, Uwe Kittel, Hermann Timpe
Structural engineers Harden + Partner
Client Miro Datensysteme GmbH
Construction period 1990–1991
Gross floor area 9,500 m²
Miro is concerned with the development, sales and service of the computer industry. The building stands in an industrial area directly next to the motorway. This district is dominated by prefabricated halls with fragments of office buildings. In the past few years ambitious acrobatic pieces of architecture have been added, having dramatic symbolism and postmodernism or deconstructive "aperçus" trying to give the best advertising to the newly discovered idea of corporate identity.
A functionally correctly organised, open for future change and suitable solution concerning choice of material and design detailing appears for most afar away. Just this was the design aim for the Miro building. Around a central hall, which also serves as reception, exhibition, teaching and sometimes celebration area, thinking cells were positioned in which the new computer chips are developed, products marketed and the business organisation managed. The rooms – only divided by glass partitions – are open towards a common middle. This reflects the character of the company and the work style of the mainly young staff. At the same time this gives the architectural image of combining production and service under the same roof.
A workshop is in the rear of the building having direct loading facilities. The office thinking cells surround on the upper level these production areas. The corridors are designed as open galleries. Typologically the building is a three-aisled hall, with the middle aisle having a barrel roof, which at the same time covers the projecting entrance foyer and shows the character of the building as reception feature. The materials – reinforced concrete, corrugated metal cladding, raw steel structure – correspond to the technical nature of the building. The partial visible service installation allows change without alteration to the design. The self-confident business style of both clients allowed the architects to design in the same style with a feeling of inner satisfaction. Their work rooms hover like a cylindrical control box, divided in the middle, over the main entrance and the hall. The circular glazing allows a complete view –internally as well as externally.