Three questions to:
Joachim H. Faust (Managing partner HPP Architects)

01_HPP_DSH_2014_Ansicht-Ost_Foto-Momeni-Gruppe_Blog
Dreischeibenhaus, Düsseldorf (Architecture: Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg)
© Momeni Gruppe

The “Dreischeibenhaus” in Düsseldorf is considered an international icon of modern architecture. The award-winning modernisation by HPP Architects made the office building fit for the future. We asked Joachim H. Faust, managing partner of HPP, three questions concerning the moderate treatment of existing building structures.

Gleiss Lutz Düsseldorf
Dreischeibenhaus, Düsseldorf (Architecture: Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg)
© HPP Architects/HG Esch

Joachim H. Faust, the “Dreischeibenhaus” in Düsseldorf, which was planned by Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg in the 1950s, ranks among the architectural icons of post-war modernism in Germany. What makes the building so special?

Above all, it’s the three clearly recognisable plates that led to the name of the building, as well as the very slender relation of width to height on the front side of eleven to one. Following the American example, the building is a steel frame construction with a curtain wall façade, a design that was anything but standard in Germany in 1960.

Gleiss Lutz Düsseldorf
Dreischeibenhaus, Düsseldorf (Architecture: Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg)
© HPP Architects/HG Esch

Recently, your office HPP thoroughly revitalised the listed “Dreischeibenhaus”. What were the specific challenges you were confronted with during the modernisation?

At first, the fundamental task was to prepare the building for a second life. This included the conversion of a single- into a multi-tenant property as well as the consideration of the resulting requirements as regards circulation and fire protection. In order to improve the energy efficiency of the listed façade, a primary façade with windows that are opened on the inside were installed in the office areas on each storey. The external proportions and the appearance could thus be maintained.

Gleiss Lutz Düsseldorf
Dreischeibenhaus, Düsseldorf (Architecture: Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg)
© HPP Architects/HG Esch

How do you assess the current development in modernisation of office buildings and where do you see the special challenges for the future?

We have always kept faith with the guiding principles of our office founder, and that is the integrity of material and detail. Good, carefully planned details have a lasting effect on the appearance of a building. Of course, this is also true for refurbishments and conversions, which will play an increasingly important role in the future. The actual sustainability of such projects – besides the improvement of energy efficiency – is, after all, the preservation of the existing, especially when it concerns listed properties. The experience of space, which is often rationalised in favour of space utilisation, is again more in demand. “Spatial experience instead of maximised floor area” – for us, this is a positive trend!

05 HPP_Joachim-H-Faust_Blog
Joachim H. Faust, Managing Partner of HPP Architects
© HPP Architects

Joachim H. Faust was born in 1954 in Mainz. He studied architecture at TU Berlin as well as RWTH Aachen. In the 1980s, a scholarship brought him to the USA, where he earned his Master of Architecture at the A&M University in Texas. After working with SOM and KPF, he joined HPP Architects in 1987, where he initially managed the office in Frankfurt and became a limited partner in 1994. Since 1997, Joachim H. Faust has been a member of the general management of HPP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *