Competition for the best design concept of the main office building of United Chemical Company “Shchekinoazot” in Tula region encouraged APEX architects to create an extraordinary building concept which could embody the company’s essence. The authors’ philosophy is based on the three matter states: solid, liquid and gaseous. The association with these three matter states is the fundamental idea for the future project development.
Competition project for the design of the JSC Shchekinoazot office building
Tula region, Russia
7 000 m2
The new building shall become the Shchekinoazot’s visit card, present its philosophy and be functional and spacious enough for 400 office employees of this fast-growing company, have an observation platform, a conference hall for 200 people and other large-scale features.
The office building consists of three types of volumes having various features, functionality and compositional function. The first type is a brick-made volume with a regular parametric pattern. It is associated with the solid matter state. Moreover, brick is also chosen as an association with the existing office building made of the same material. The architectural concept includes cleaning the brick enclosures to their initial state.
The second type is a building volume made of structural glass which is designed especially for transparent enclosures. Structural glass is a profiled alkali-silicate glass with a soft, dispensing structure and high heat-insulation properties. The use of structural glass is a reference to the second state of aggregation - liquid, since glass has an amorphous structure.
The third type is the building parts with a negative volume: used roofs and terraces are a direct association with the gaseous matter state. Consequently, the architectural image of the building is presented as the symbol of an interaction of different states, matters and substances.
The substances interaction idea was further developed in the site improvement concept. The graphic image of benzene ring (a structure fragment of many organic compounds) was chosen as a basic concept line. The main idea was embodied by the division of the whole pedestrian area in hexagonal sectors (benzene rings) and hard landscaping, performed in the same module net, highlights the idea. Public space is additionally provided with exposition stands and installations which could become the plant’s museum exposition.