Mueller Architekten open up new layers

In terms of urban design, the new-build head office of Channoine Cosmetics follows the alignment of the Austraße in Vaduz (Liechtenstein). But the German bureau Mu?ller Architekten has given the 15-m-high building its own face with a glass façade composed of prisms.

Rock crystal or a bottle of perfume – what was the inspiration behind your design?
Matthias Mueller: The mountain cliffs near Vaduz are irregular and bizarrely shaped. When I saw the building site in the Rhine valley for the first time, the image of ice crystals pushed insistently into my mind. The second source of inspiration was cut crystal perfume bottles, which radiate a feeling of high value. I wanted to get both associations across. That is why I came up with a crystalline structure for the façade. The glass prisms in the façade reflect the surroundings in

How is the façade built up?
The façade consists of two layers, to satisfy the energy regulations. The inner layer is made of insulated glass with thermal break profiles. The second layer, which hangs in front of the first, consists of a total of 134 glass prisms mounted on a stainless steel construction. Due to the sloping angle of the self-cleaning glass, the surroundings are reflected like a kaleidoscope.
What advantages does that bring? Most importantly, the construction provides energy benefits: during the winter, warm air from the cavity can be used to heat the interior. In the summer, the intermediate space in the façade is ventilated. In addition, the sun shade is fitted in the cavity, so that the wind from the Rhine valley cannot get underneath.

Interview: Sandra Hofmeister

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Dr. Sandra Hofmeister

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