Amsterdam, NL | Maastricht, NL | Zürich, CH
The Allianz Headquarters, an under construction office building in Zürich, Switzerland, was recently awarded the 2013 ‘AIT Innovation Award for Architecture & Technology’ for its interior heating and cooling ceiling panels, which feature concrete core activation and concealed air ventilation. Designed specifically for the new Allianz Headquarters, the paneled ceiling system houses the technical specifications a modern office building demands, and measures 1.35 x 1.35 m, reducing the amount of hanging points while simultaneously introducing a larger scale to the interior office spaces. Composed of steel sheets that have been ‘crumpled’ for added stability, the panels resist central deflection. A three-dimensional pattern, derived from the traditional ornamentation of Swiss chalet eaves, has been stamped into the ceiling panels, introducing a texture to each panel's joints and therefore decreasing the amount of visible seams.
Interior ventilation occurs through specially developed micro-perforations in the panels, allowing for no visible interior air ducts and for the placement of an acoustically absorbing sheet on each panel’s backside. The system also utilizes the ceiling concrete from which it is hung: heat conducting pipes have been thermally connected with the concrete ceiling, which is cooled overnight and thus acts as a cooling energy reserve that can be called upon during normal hours of office operation, and circulated throughout the building’s interior by way of the micro-perforations. The possibility of maintaining individual ceiling panels, as well as the integrated heating and cooling elements, allows for the creation of a tranquil interior work environment for the building’s estimated 1,700 employees.