The ARAG building is the latest in a family of office towers that push environmental design to new limits. Situated at a major gateway into Düsseldorf, it is the headquarters for one of Germany’s leading insurance companies. The 30-storey building has a high-performance, double-skin glazed facade. A protective outer layer forms a weather shield and sun filter; an inner layer, with openable windows, allows the building to breathe. Maximum use is made of daylight, and the construction allows passive cooling with night storage so that air conditioning will rarely be needed.
Office floors are simple and open in feel. Cellular offices and meeting rooms ring the perimeter while group meeting spaces occupy the centre of the lens-shaped plan. To create the maximum usable floor area, lift shafts are pushed to the corners, with glass lifts allowing panoramic views across the city.
Double-height ‘sky gardens’ punctuate the building at every eighth floor. Planted with ‘meadows’ of tall grasses and wild flowers, the gardens provide informal meeting areas and relaxation spaces. Open access between office floors and the gardens encourages a friendly atmosphere as well as improving communication between staff.