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Kiefer Technic Showroom

contributed by 323 World Architecture Festival , 19 October 2009


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Description Kiefer Technic Showroom:

In earlier times, façades were characterised by window arrangements and axes. They often featured surface relief with architectural elements from the relevant period or style. The structure of the façade also determined the ground plan; the greater the number of window axes in a room, the more important the function of the user.

Not long ago office buildings had a clear structure and the number of axes was prede-termined - e.g. how many for a director or high-ranking counsellor and how many for a mere civil servant.
With the introduction of window strips, these hierarchies were abandoned. Today it is possible that the complete exterior façade is transparent, and this very transparency indicates a modern character. At the same time, individual requirements escalate and need to be reconciled with the desire for comfort.

For this reason we have been working for some time with dynamic façades that can be adapted individually to changing conditions and needs. Of course they can also be controlled by optimising programs if users are not present in the rooms behind. Thus it is possible to realise these new transparent façades and yet still maintain a cosy at-mosphere in the rooms.

These façades change continuously; each day, each hour shows a new “face” - the façade is turning into a dynamic sculpture.

We wrote a dedicated choreography for the new Kiefer technic façades, which we would like to present to you in a video clip.
See the link <<< >>>

Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner


In a city where good architecture is practically de rigueur, Graz still manages to surprise and inspire with the strength and sheer variety of its built environment. In fact, the city’s stable of progressive architects seems intent that it should not simply rest on its laurels as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Leading the charge is architectural outfit Ernst Gis-elbrecht + Partner.

Since founding the firm in 1985, principal Ernst Giselbrecht has parlayed his passion for light - filtered and mechanically controlled light to be precise - into a series of bold and generously lit public buildings. Thanks to his training as both architect and mechanical engineer, the Giselbrecht oeuvre is extensive, covering everything from clinics, railway stations and schools to research facilities and university extensions.

In particular, the Biocatalysis lab building at the Graz University of Technology and the EN&T-clinic at the University Hospital of Graz all demonstrate Giselbrecht’s sensitivity to a building’s site orientation and his interest in assembling various elements of steel and concrete frames, metal panels, glass and louvres to create spaces that are well-ventilated, well-lit and energy efficient.

His most recent work for Kiefer Technic is a high water mark for these ideals. A manu-facturer of doors and equipment for hospital operation theatres and stainless steel furni-ture, Kiefer asked for an airy showroom - overlooking a park - that showed off the firm’s products to best effect. Giselbrecht’s solution was to clad the entire southern end of the showroom with a wall of white aluminium louvre panels that open and shut using an ar-ray of electronically-controlled horizontal hinges.

The result is a building whose façade gracefully morphs in a series of concertina folds depending on the light requirements and warmth tolerance of those inside. The system can be programmed to display countless patterns and configurations, giving what could have been a humdrum office a fascinating animated façade.

These are especially busy times for the 15-member team. After wrapping up the Kiefer Technic office and a shopping centre in Ljubljana, up next is a business centre in Graz. It’s clearly impossible to pigeon-hole the Giselbrecht style, but we suspect he likes it that way.


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Bad Gleichenberg, Austria

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