Well-designed façades are a tool for building operators and owners to improve aesthetics and provide excellent thermal and sound insulation which in turns reduces energy loss. Rethinking building façade is an investment into the future that leads to increased property value and to better living conditions for occupants.

POLIS Immobilien, a real estate company, commissioned Arup to deliver a façade redesign for the Berliner Allee 48 commercial building in Düsseldorf. Built in 1956, the building features seven storys with a floor area of 3,000m2. Arup designed an elegant façade that appreciates the post-modernist architecture elements while providing sound and thermal comfort to users.

Aesthetics of post-war modernist architecture

Arup’s building envelope specialists restored various façade details, dating from 1950s, such as the black glass mosaics from the first floor and the iconic cantilevered entrance canopy, typical for that period.

Our design adorned the façade with black glass panels and pre-patinated brass for the building’s elements.

The new façade design sought sustainability and repurposed and upgraded building materials, including reinforced concrete components. This approach not only yielded cost savings, but also contributed to waste reduction and to curbing energy consumption, which results in less CO2 emissions.

Enhancing interior sound and thermal comfort

Located on a busy street, the Berliner Allee office and commercial building required exceptional soundproofing measures due to the thin sound insulation of exterior walls in post-war architectural designs. To address this challenge, Arup’s experts designed a new building envelope with a robust, thermal composite insulation system and high-quality composite windows. The system soundproofs the interior and enables noise reduction while providing solar and thermal protection to occupants and contributing to energy efficiency savings ranging from 40 to 50%.

Enabling business operations during construction

The Arup team devised a novel solution for the redesign of the façade to allow for the continuous business operation during construction. A new façade staggered in front of the existing structure was installed through a post-and-beam construction method. This approach facilitated the gradual replacement of existing windows without interrupting operations. The outcome is a modern façade that pays homage to the 1950s aesthetics while offering state-of-the-art user comfort and functionality.