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Schweinfurt, Germany | 2017
Architects: TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten GmbH, Hamburg
Client: SKF GmbH
General Contractor: Ingenieurbüro Dr. Binnewies
Photographers: Hans Juergen Landes
The new Sven Wingquist Test Centre is located in Schweinfurt and completes SKF’s “large size bearing competence centre” there as its final element. The new facility tests large bearings for wind power plants as well as for example shipbuilding, mining and paper industry and further for cement and steel sector. Being a significant corporate architecture the building with the aerodynamic appearance interprets the SKF logotype by flowing, rounded forms while the materials represent high technological standards.
Two volumes of different height, positioned parallel to each other are the basis of the new construction. They celebrate the wind and the energy by their striking inclination. Both halls are massive constructions with reinforced concrete columns and a base slab made of fibre and reinforced concrete on a sleeve foundation. The façades are clad with reflective white aluminium panels. On the elongated north façade an impressive double profiled glazing displays the logotype with large-scaled letters. At night it is illuminated.
Each volume has its own function. Two technology pioneering test rigs for large size bearings as well as two smaller large size bearing test benches are located in the higher one-storey hall. An overhead crane for 100 tonnes ensures the precise handling of the highly sensitive mechanical components. The smaller two-storey hall comprises areas with different technical functions, storage spaces as well as workshop zones and offices.
The interior design follows consequently the wind leitmotif as one can perceive by looking at the cladding of the acoustic walls, the ceiling, the light concept and other interior details. As a pioneer for renewable energies and energy-efficient technologies, the SKF test centre received the LEED Gold certificate. The two new resource-saving test rigs are funded by two environmental government programs with a total of Euro 3.5 million.