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Engineering Plant

Braunschweig, DE

The Siemens & Halske AG telecommunications equipment plant prospered on the enormous demand for security systems at the beginning of the 1950s with the result that by 1955 a new production hall and warehouse were required.

The single-storey, three-aisle production hall with transverse sheds was designed as a reinforced concrete shell structure and provided a continuous production area illuminated by glare-free north light. Because the space is evenly lit, the external walls of the 112 metre long x 48 metre wide building could be designed largely without window openings. The facades appear recessed due to functional details such as the overflow outlets on the shed gutters, the exhaust air openings and the windows in the gables, the latter acting as "psychological side windows" to give a glimpse of the outside world. The masonry exterior wall surface, including the loadbearing structure, lies behind yellow split brick cladding. The interior is masonry panels between the fair-faced concrete skeleton members.

The shed hall claims a special position among the works of Walter Henn as it was his first post-war building completed without construction industry political restraints. From that point on, Henn built to modern standards and founded an aesthetic of functionality focused on modern international architecture, which produced a triad of function, structure and form.

Photos 1-9: Heinrich Heidersberger

Siemens & Halske
7 000 m²
Completed
1957