Drahtesel EAF conversion
Within a former commercial building from the late 1950's a whole floor had to be conversed for almost no money into an office- and workspace for the renowned social institution Drahtesel. We envisioned a simple structure of simple materials to create a nonetheless architectural space.
The social institution Drahtesel in Liebefeld concentrates on reintegrating longtime unemployed people back into ordinary worklife. Due to growing numbers of customers, extra office- and workspace was needed near the existing facilities in Liebefeld near Bern. A nearby commercial building from the late 1950's gave potentials to integrate the space needed on the empty first floor.
Because of limited public financial support for integration-projects and limited own financial resources, the conversion had to be realised within a tight budget and within a close timeframe.
To reduce costs and construction time on site we decided to limit the new elements added to a minimum and on a very basic level of comfort. The newly added integrates itself in a very direct, but independant way into the existing structure of vouted beams and square posts. Thereby remaining flexibel and reversable for future changes, focusing on mainly creating boundarys for diverse areas of activity.
Facing the limited budget we decided to only use cheap stock items such as oriented strand boards (OSB), construction timber, polycarbonate boards etc. Furthermore we measured all dimensions as to fit in full measures of material, reducing cutting-work and length-adjustments to a minimum.
Together with the client all physical standards (acoustics etc.) were held on a minimum level. Also everything still useable (electrics, lights, materials) was cleaned and reused on site.
A maximum reduction of requirements, questioning personal needs, negotiating the level of comfort, and the absolute need to keep it simple gave us precious insights and new approaches to topics of real sufficiency and efficiency for future projects to come.