Bang & Olufsen Headquarters, Struer, Denmark
red dot award: product design 2002

Openness and complexity. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, an architect at the Bauhaus around 1930, had already become the pioneer of an architecture that interacts with the onlooker through the complex use of glass and light in the 1920s. His buildings adapted to the nature of the environment, energy supply and perspective. In the German pavilion at the world exhibition in Barcelona in 1929 Mies van der Rohe went a step further: he separated structural elements from those used to divide up space, making the interior plan variable. Space was endowed with an openness of mind, a feature that is evident in the design of the Bang & Olufsen headquarters. The architecture takes its inspiration from the farmhouse typical of the region: very introverted in appearance but nonetheless revealing the processes of agricultural production. As is the case with these historical forerunners, the Bang & Olufsen headquarters seeks a dialogue between function and technology and at the same time a harmony with the poetry of the surrounding countryside.
The tranquil architecture of the headquarters acquires lightness through the transparency and openness of its facades. It is free-standing in the landscape and strategically situated to form a kind of entrance to the production complex. Contrasting with the simple geometry of the building itself, the arrangement results in a variable relationship with the surroundings. This is underscored by the use of materials like glass, brickwork and basalt. The contrasts are reflected in the interiors. Visitors pass through changing architectural spaces: floors of light wood give way to glass and closed facades alternate with open ones.
The architecture creates at one and the same time a tangible link and a transparent openness between people, production, architecture and surroundings.

Manufacturer: KHR AS arkitekter Svend Axelsson, Erik Sørensen, Jesper Lund, Kurt Schou, Ove Neumann, Jan Søndergaard, Kaj Terkelsen, Nille Juul-Sørense

Design:
Prof. Jan Søndergaard (Responsible partner)
Henrik Richter Danielsen (Project leader)
Mikkel Beedholm (Ass. partner), Christina Garcia Gomez Maria Guillamon Gomez Mette Lyng Hansen Ole Jensen