Zech Haus

The Zauberwürfel is situated at a key axis point within Düsseldorf. The pure cubic volume of the Zauberwürfel is orientated to face four key conditions; the skyline of central Dusseldorf, the busy waterways of the port, the village of Hamm, and a new post-industrial identity still being forged.

Up close the Zauberwürfel pivots and twists to open up oblique views along its edges. Beneath its shear facade is a light, airy, workspace punctuated by nature. A large atrium extends the full height of the Zauberwürfel. Large voids extend from this atrium to the building’s facade breaking the internal volume into a multi-tiered landscape. This interconnected green space functions as the lungs of the building, breathing fresh air and light into the workspaces. Workers ascend through the treetops via a grand escalator to 11 floors of office space, large gardens of fully-grown trees, an auditorium, an exhibition space, a fitness centre, and a sky bar.

The Zauberwürfel hovers above a sinuous landscape. By manipulating the ground, three unique landscape conditions coexist on site; a forested hillside, a quarry-like skate park and a terraced rowing club that dips down to the water’s edge.

A built topography manages flows across and surrounding the site. Its edges pull up to shelter a central plaza from busy roads and rails. While workers recline on the south facing terrace of the forested hill, cars pass safely underneath. Likewise, tucked below the skate park is a grocery store and bike parking which creates an urban frontage along the Holzstrasse.

The Zauberwürfel is not just a highly technical and efficient instrument, but a living, breathing organism, that acknowledges an innate human need to be around nature and supports a healthy, active, productive work environment.

Zauberwürfel, Zech Haus
Gustav Zech Stiftung
Düsseldorf, GE