The new building “Forstamt Jena-Holzland” in Stadtroda (East Thuringia), which was awarded the German Timber Construction Award 2019, houses one of the 24 Thuringian forestry offices and the Forest inspection East department. The close-to-nature facility is characterized by an old arboretum and extensive orchards with beehives. Accordingly, the property offered ideal conditions for the forestry office, which not only manages the State forest and advises private and municipal forest owners, but also aims to convey knowledge about the forest ecosystem and the importance of sustainable forestry in numerous forest education programs.
Visitors and employees arrive at the entrance area from the south via a parking area that is now structured with herbaceous plants. The two-storey entrance is accessed via the inner courtyard between the two wings of the building. The depot at the back can be reached via a separate driveway from the east.
The building is a structural timber construction; only the basement, access cores and game cooling chamber are made of reinforced concrete. The two-storey new building offers excellent opportunities to visualize the entire domestic value chain when building with wood – from forest management that has been practiced in Germany for centuries, to use as an innovative, high-performance construction material and interior design material.
The load bearing structure and the hybrid wood-concrete composite ceilings are made of “BauBuche”. This veneer material developed in Thuringia made of local beech enables very high-performance load bearing structures to be designed thanks to its material properties. Due to the high level of prefabrication, wooden structures can be completed much more quickly than conventional structures.
The ventilated facade is designed as a timber frame construction with larch wood cladding or plaster facade. The generously glazed facades of the inner courtyard facilitate external and internal communication and allow a view of the wooden support structure as well as numerous other details inside which are made from local woods. As a structural timber construction with a combination of proven and new materials, the forestry office building shows what wood can do as a renewable and economical building material.
Due to its clear functional structure with the group office of the district foresters located in the center, the design encourages communication between the employees who are always there and those who only work in the office temporarily. Wood materials, white plaster surfaces and the table systems made for the project with colored textile acoustic elements create a cheerful working atmosphere and underline the integration of structure, building envelope, interior fittings and furniture.
The choice of a structural timber construction was also a decision for active climate protection. As the building material wood replaces greenhouse gas producing raw materials, the climate footprint improves considerably compared to conventionally constructed buildings. The client also opted for wood in terms of energy: The heating is CO2 neutral with wood pellets from forestry and wood processing sectors.
The building created here can also serve as an example for an office/administration building for municipalities or companies, as its positive charisma promotes communication and transparency of efficient organizations.
Award / German Timber Construction Award 2019
The annual German Timber Construction Award is the industry award of the German forestry and timber industry. The Jena-Holzland Forestry office received one of three prizes in the “New Building” category in 2019.
The jury praised the “appealing architecture of the administration building” and decided that the building “fulfills the assigned task very precisely without any airs and graces” and “is exemplary with wood as a building material both inside and outside”.
Recognition / Architecture Prize 2019 of the Chamber of Architects Thuringia
With its architecture award, the Chamber of Architects Thuringia honors exemplary architecture every two years as part of the event series “Tag der Architektur” (Architecture day). The jury selected two award winners from the participating buildings of 2018 and 2019 and presented three awards – among others for the Forestry office building. Jury: “The building is a convincing and exemplary contribution of contemporary architecture in a modern wooden construction”.
Nomination / Thuringian State Prize for Architecture and Urbanism 2018
The Forestry office building was nominated for the Thuringian State Prize for Architecture and Urbanism 2018. Every two years, this prize is awarded to projects that protect the environment and resources and that meet particularly high aesthetic requirements. The jury shortlisted a total of eleven new buildings.