Smart and Unique New Building from 3 Deluxe Architecture

Together with Merck and FC Ingenieure in Karlsruhe as developers, the architects at 3deluxe have succeeded in coming up with an attractive building ensemble with an interesting, innovative glass façade which adds a fascinating new facet to intelligent architecture.


Photo credit: Sascha Jahnke

Globally Unique "Smartphone Façade"

The FC Campus building’s intelligent architectural element is a sheet of foil, something normally used in Apple smartphones, integrated into its glass structure. In the context of a building façade, this is a global first. Interactive liquid crystals integrated into the foil allow for a sensor-controlled reduction in light and heat transfer to the building without any negative impact on transparency. The building requires hardly any cooling, even at the height of summer despite the fact that it features large-scale glazing and does not possess any structural shading elements.


Photo credit: Sascha Jahnke

The trend in recent years towards cutting the expanses of windows in new buildings in order to save energy conflicts with people’s desire for bright, cheerful rooms flooded with light – and does not, therefore, represent real progress. Extensive glazing and the corresponding effect this has on the way people relate to their environment is an emotionally important aspect of well-being and thus always a significant factor in 3deluxe’s building concepts. Accordingly, intelligent glass is not only durable and efficient but also helpful in the innovative design of people-friendly architecture and one of the many technological innovations that will be necessary for planning smart cities in the future.

Consistent Corporate Design for Future-Oriented Engineering Company

The developer and user of this building ensemble, which is very prominently situated in close proximity to one of Germany’s busiest autobahns, is the Karlsruhe-based FC Gruppe. This engineering company, which has a payroll of more than 300, works both for Porsche and on innovative, future-oriented hospital concepts. In light of this, the intention in 3deluxe’s building design was to combine innovation, sustainability, efficiency, and a meaningful arrangement, so as to create a distinctive composition.adf-web-magazine-fc-campus-6

A cube offered the most economical ratio between outside surface and volume, thus representing the most efficient building shape from a sustainability viewpoint. The FC Group’s two identical cubes are twisted in opposite directions and stand on a large floating podium under which an open underground parking lot is located. Because of the striking, organically-shaped, story-spanning windows, the two individual cubes merge, depending on perspective, to produce a sculptural overall effect with a varying, charming appearance.

The generous glazing means that these modern, open-plan office premises are well lit from all sides and offer pleasant views from all their workstations. Along with the well-thought-through approach to the diagonals and radii in the façade, it is the building’s pared-back details that make it so compelling and unique.

Smart, Digital, and Convenient 

The office stories have a generous, open feel to them, the concept used largely rejects the idea of internal walls. The structure of the building invites a cooperative, non-hierarchical approach to work. Communicative shared spaces and areas for focused work unobtrusively alternate with one another and the offices are fitted out with furniture that is appropriate to its urban context. Thanks to an app specially designed by the developers, staff can control pretty well everything in the building. They can select their lunches from the in-house food bar or allow themselves to be guided through the surrounding park areas in their breaks.


Photo credit: Sascha Jahnke

To avoid plastic, water is provided from the well on the grounds, while the carpet is made of recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles. Modern heated and chilled ceilings ensure a pleasant ambient temperature in the offices. Cooling and heating are provided from a geothermal source that uses 24 probes that run to a depth of 130 meters and electricity is generated by a PV system on the roof, meaning that the building requires zero outside energy.

Nature and the Protection of Endangered Species between a Commercial Park and the Autobahn 

The FC Campus building is situated in a semi-natural environment, between an industrial park, the autobahn feeder road, and a small tree and meadow biotope with a little stream, an environment very much deserving of protection. The architecture has adopted a circumspect approach to this residual natural environment. In order to avoid birds crashing into the generous glazing which stretches around corners the architect in cooperation with the Swiss ornithological station, Sempach came up with the kind of delicate, semitransparent pattern printed onto the glazing of which birds would be aware but which would not, at the same time, spoil the view.


Photo credit: Sascha Jahnke

The outside lighting was designed to take the form of insect-friendly LED lights with a low beam height and focused lighting on the surfaces, without light emission into the surroundings. The decision was taken not to install scenic lighting on the vegetation or the building shell.


Photo credit: Sascha Jahnke

Technical Sheet

Title of ProjectFC – Campus Verwaltungsgebäude
DisciplineCorporate Architecture
DeveloperFC-Verwaltung GmbH
LocationAm Storrenacker 8, 76139 Karlsruhe
Start of planningApril 2015
Construction periodMarch 2018 until May 2020
CompletionSeptember 2020