Bang & Olufsen Headquarters
Solitary farmhouses, typical of the local Danish terrain, inspired the design of Bang and Olufsen Headquarters, known as “The Farm”. The new main building and courtyard form a sheltered space with an unfettered view of all activities.
Like its historic models, the building makes an effort to create a dialogue between the function and technology of manmade structures and the poetic dimension of the landscape.
Out of respect for the sensitive countryside and the historic buildings to the southwest, almost weightless, transparent expression using materials familiar from structures in the region. The new building conveys this mood to the rest of the Bang and Olufsen production complex.
“The Farm” and production buildings share the same approach, with parking located at a discrete distance. Because of the interplay with the landscape, the visitor experiences it as subdued and far from monumental.
The formal entrance and centrally located lobby provide access to the entire complex.
The interior forms a dynamic visual contrast to the calm exterior. The layout of public spaces and the location of all transit areas along the open facades promote visibility and internal communication. Despite the simple geometry of the building volumes, the way in which they were combined and juxtaposed creates special variations and complexity that provide fine contact with the landscape. These spatial variations are reinforced and emphasized by the choice and combinations of materials. The use of glass, plaster, and brick creates a varied yet highly controlled expression, both inside and out.
Icelandic basalt, sand blown glass, concrete surfaces cast in place, and light wooden floors in the transit areas provide a visual and textural break in the building’s open plan layout. The constant changes in material or view – walking from wooden floors to glass, along a closed facade to an open one, etc.- takes the place of the traditional division of spaces created by doors and walls.
The use of glass for floors, staircases, and ceilings makes for a variety of moods, depending on weather conditions. The stairs act as ‘chimneys’ for ventilation and the floor creates a break in vertical movement. In the conference area, the glass floor and ceiling promote an atmosphere of harmony conducive to any good meeting.
On one hand, the building claims the full attention of its user; on the other, it provides a wealth of visual experiences with a touch of poetry. The spatial experience, the harmony between the form of the building and its function, is analogous to the design of Bang and Olufsen products.