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Visualisation of the BRITA Campus, seen in the distance; Visualisation of the BRITA Campus, seen in the distance;

BRITA headquarters, Taunusstein

Simple complexity: the BRITA Campus

BRITA stands for quality and taste of drinking water worldwide. The family-run company develops and produces solutions for drinking water optimisation and individualisation in private and commercial environments and distributes them in around 70 countries on all five continents.

The BRITA Group plans to expand its headquarters in Taunusstein near Wiesbaden in order to accommodate its strong expansion and economic growth with infrastructure and personnel growth. After winning an ideas competition, Arup was commissioned to design the new BRITA campus. Our modular design envisages five elegant office modules grouped in a loose arrangement around a central reception terminal with green roof terraces and inner courtyards. The buildings blend harmoniously into the gentle Taunus landscape and encourage employees to actively use the green spaces in their everyday work.

In total, around 20,000m² of additional gross floor space will be created for up to 750 workplaces. From summer 2021, the first phase of the project will see the construction of two office modules with 250 workplaces, with work to be completed by 2023.

As general planner, Arup is providing all architectural and engineering services for the campus development, including the planning of the structural engineering, building services engineering, energy concept, building envelope, building physics, fire protection, acoustics, artificial light and daylight, as well as for the landscape architecture in cooperation with Hofmann_Röttgen Landschaftsarchitekten BDLA.

Project Summary

20,000 additional gross floor space


5elegant office modules

Varied spatial structure with modular architecture

Known as BRITA Campus modules, the office modules will be built in a resource-saving hybrid timber construction method. The modules are identical in terms of floor space, design and technical equipment, with varying heights of between three to five storeys. They are directly connected to the reception terminal. Their organic arrangement creates a varied spatial structure that offers employees insights into the neighbouring office modules and views of the surrounding nature.

The existing administration building will be extensively renovated in the course of the construction work and subsequently integrated into the building complex as a research and development centre. With this expansion, Arup is supporting BRITA to make the Taunusstein location fit for the future while significantly reducing the consumption of resources by converting and reusing existing buildings.

Office landscapes with open plan office

The BRITA Group had already commissioned a study for a contemporary workplace concept from the Fraunhofer Institute for the original administration building and in advance of the campus development. Our planning office took the results of this study and developed them to best suit the company’s changing needs.

With five different floor plan typologies, open office landscapes offer space for communicative collaboration with a high quality. Flexible work zones, communication and cooperation areas, meeting rooms, retreat and concentration areas enable focused, relaxed working spaces.

In the future, both the interior and the outdoor spaces across the BRITA Campus will be used as a kind of open-plan office. For example, a separate terrace area is planned for each floor at the front of the building. From there, open staircases lead to the green spaces, inviting people to work in the fresh air with comfortable seating and digital reception. In good weather, meetings can be held on the green roof terrace of the reception terminal.

Visualisation of the BRITA Campus reception terminal with the other office pavilions in the background Visualisation of the BRITA Campus reception terminal with the other office pavilions in the background

Energy-efficient low-tech solutions

The façades of the office modules are characterised by sophisticated architecture, high performance and low maintenance. A slim mullion and transom construction made of timber and aluminium with generous window fronts provides the office areas with plenty of daylight.

Ventilation sashes allow natural ventilation. Filigree maintenance balconies support the pavilion character of the buildings while providing natural shading. In combination with high-quality solar control glass and an interior textile sun protection system, they significantly reduce the amount of sunlight entering the building. The surrounding balconies also ensure safe and uncomplicated cleaning and maintenance of the façades.

Our sustainable energy concept relies on heat pumps and a geothermal probe field for heating and cooling the buildings. For air conditioning, adiabatic ventilation is used, which makes use of the rainwater collected from the buildings through the green roofs. The new building complex will be constructed according to the KfW Efficiency House Standard 55.

Stuart Smith, Director and Business Leader Property at Arup in Germany, explains how we can reduce carbon emissions of builidings with projects like the BRITA headqurters.
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First digital, then real

The BRITA campus will first be "built" digitally. This means that the Arup methodology "LEAN" with BIM will be used. During virtual inspections, the project participants can discuss technical challenges and find suitable solutions together. If required, detailed simulations and analyses are prepared, such as daylight simulations or energy analyses. A particularly important aspect: In the event of planning changes, BIM planning shows the concrete effects on the time and cost plan. With the help of forward-looking project and design management, the multidisciplinary team is able to respond to entire "real" customer requests at any time.

The overall design concept can perhaps best be summed up by an "elegant sobriety": The design process is always holistic and focuses on the discussion about the "best" solution. The design follows four clear drivers: purposeful, simple, efficient, beautiful. And thus, always puts the human being at the centre of our design.

For us, this is sustainable architecture.