Welcome Centre Grugapark

Essen, Germany

Philipp Valente
Tim Schmelz
Sara Kanaan

In collaboration with
Büro N


Two representative pavilions with an optimal load-bearing structure, an inclusive routing and an almost invisible functional bar are the cornerstones of the design for the entrance and gastronomy centre in Grugapark. The main functions are housed in the catering and event pavilion and the entrance pavilion. Transparency, filigree timber structures and light roofs connect these with the outside space and become part of the landscape. Opening glass façades create a flowing transition and reinforce the impression of being in the greenery of the park. The roof openings, penetrated by trees, create a light-flooded, leafy canopy.

Service functions such as the kitchen, sanitary facilities, storage and cloakroom are integrated into the landscaped structure, which connects to the existing cube and supply shaft. The green roof of the functional bar, which extends down to the ground, makes it invisible to visitors. The wooden pavilions also have green roofs. Green roofs and façades as well as atriums support the identity of the park entrance and promote the local flora and fauna. Water-permeable materials minimise sealing and support natural water cycles.

The architecture is characterised by clear geometry and flexible room structures that enable spontaneous meetings and events. Mobile partition walls and furniture offer various utilisation options. The timber structure, modularity and circularity make the pavilions sustainable. The façade of the existing cube is insulated with straw and clad with sustainable timber elements. Environmentally friendly, locally sourced or recycled materials reduce transport emissions and support the local economy.

The compact building volumes and extensive greenery reduce energy consumption. Generous window areas utilise passive solar energy, while overhanging roofs and planting protect against overheating in summer. Open-plan layouts ensure optimum air circulation. A PV system and an energy management system secure the power supply. Cisterns collect rainwater for irrigation and sanitary facilities. The inclusive routing begins before the park entrance and ensures barrier-free access.

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