Oval and circular – city hall freiburg in breisgau

ingenhoven architects
November 22, 2017

ingenhoven architects have completed the new town hall with administration center and day care center in Freiburg im Breisgau. It is the first public net plus energy building in the world that generates more energy than it needs.

Project: Freiburg im Breisgau Town Hall | Architecture: ingenhoven architects | Client: City of Freiburg im Breisgau, represented by the building management Freiburg | User: Freiburg City Administration | complete construction board see below.

What is special about this construction task??
The construction of the first phase of construction of the new town hall in Freiburg im Breisgau with an administrative center and day care center is the first public building to meet the net plus energy standard worldwide and brings the 840 employees of the city administration, who were previously spread across 16 different locations across the city, to a common location together.

How does the design react to the location?
The new construction of the administrative center is a source of impetus for an urban development and urban design upgrade of the Freiburg district of Stühlinger. It links the green belt between Eschholzpark and the university hospital. All three building wings and a daycare center are combined in the “Green Campus”. The ensemble of buildings in the new town hall is integrated into the green space between the Eschholzpark and the university clinic, perspectives and public path relationships strengthen networking. In the course of the second construction phase, further oval workplaces will be added for the administrative functions of the city.

day care center

town hall

Current energetic, constructive or creative tendencies influenced the project?
The new Freiburg City Hall is the first net plus energy building of this type and use worldwide.
In the course of a year, the building generates more energy than it consumes, the excess energy is fed into the city network. In line with the strict criteria of the passive house standard, the town hall’s primary energy requirements for heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water production are only around 45 kWh per square meter per year – that is only forty percent of the primary energy requirements of comparable modern office buildings.

The principle of sustainability is given special consideration both in the building and in the energy concept. Simple technical solutions are chosen that are characterized by economical operation. The energy required for the building is generated thermally via suction and swallow wells and solar thermal in connection with heat pumps and electrically via photovoltaics on the roof and on the facade. The energy for cooling and heating is obtained from geothermal energy. The heating uses thermal component activation and can be controlled individually for each office. The mechanical ventilation is equipped with highly efficient heat recovery.

The room climate concept of the office rooms with the components component activation, heating / cooling sail, external sun protection, triple glazing and mechanical basic ventilation with heat recovery implements the energy concept in an energy-saving manner. Openable ventilation panels give the user the option of improving the indoor climate if the thermal conditions are appropriate. For public areas such as the citizen service center, restaurant and conference area, the heating and cooling ceiling system and also a partial air conditioning system with highly efficient heat recovery meet the complex requirements of these areas.

The town hall facade with photovoltaic elements

Dark larch wood facade and light surfaces in the interiors work together

Which special products or materials have contributed to the success of the completed building?
Visually, both buildings are characterized by their larch wood facades from local forests. At the town hall, the facade is constructed from staggered, vertically projecting modules with photovoltaic cells and high-quality thermal insulation. The ceiling-high glass facade elements allow optimal use of daylight. The facade of the circular building of the daycare center is characterized by an all-round arcade with a open delicate vertical wood structure. The outer facade is interrupted where direct views, daylight and building access are to be made possible.

City hall with administrative center and day care center in the park

sectional view

City hall Freiburg im Breisgau
Fehrenbachallee 12, 79106 Freiburg

order type
International competition 2013, 1st prize

Building owner
City of Freiburg im Breisgau, represented by the Freiburg building management

ingenhoven architects, Düsseldorf
Team: Christoph Ingenhoven, Hinrich Schumacher, Barbara Bruder, Rudolf Jonas, Ursula Koeker, Bibiana Zapf

Structural engineering: Mohnke Höss civil engineers
Fire protection: BPK fire protection planning Klingsch
Energy conception, photovoltaics and building technology: DS plan
Lighting design: Tropp Lighting Design
Landscape planning: ingenhoven architects / BBS Landscape Engineering
Facade planning: DS plan
Building physics: DS plan
Project management: Thost Projektmanagement
Interior design special areas: ingenhoven architects

architectural art
Schirin Kretschmann, Berlin

Green building certificate
Guideline Sustainability V 2.0 of the IWTI
Net Plus energy buildings

building volume
11,356 m³


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Christina Cherry
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