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HERZOGENRATH Innovation Centre

Glass dimensions: 18.00 × 3.20 m

Saint-Gobain is investing in Industry 4.0 and in new technologies and digitization as a result of which the company is expanding and modifying its factory premises in Herzogenrath. In future, visitors to Saint-Gobain will be welcomed in a new pavilion. This new construction embodies the company's openness and love of innovation, which has been realised architecturally using light wood and, of course, lots of glass.

Just beyond the factory gate is the new Co-Innovation Centre, or CIC, with a canteen, meeting and seminar rooms and exhibition spaces. The existing structure of the adjacent research and development centre is also being modernized. Together, the two buildings comprise a new, green central area - known as the "campus". The ensemble is conceived as a place where customers, external partners, universities and colleagues can come together and aims to encourage creative interaction.

The design by Molestina Architekten from Cologne transforms the three pillars of Saint-Gobain - innovation, sustainability and comfort - into a light-flooded pavilion on an almost square floor plan. The incorporation of glass into an otherwise purely wooden construction demonstrates the full range of Saint-Gobain applications to passers-by while .

The foyer's west façade is particularly eye-catching. Visitors are directed past this to the main entrance on the north side. Like a huge showroom window, its vast width of 18 metres allows for exciting views inwards and outwards, causing the interior and exterior spaces to visually merge. On this scale and in this form, this represents something truly unique.

The two-storey foyer behind it serves as both a reception and exhibition area, onto which the canteen will also be joined. An open staircase with a back wall made of wooden slats leads to a gallery on the top floor, from where there is a choice of going directly into meeting rooms or, alternatively, to a pergola on the north façade, then continuing to a bridge made of reinforced concrete and glass connecting the new building to the old.

The structure of new Co-Innovation Centre radiates clarity and openness, an effect produced both by the design and the materials. The massive glulam panes combined with the glass panes create an exciting spatial structure. In addition, the reduced range of natural materials creates a warm, lively atmosphere.

A huge glass pane on the ground floor of the new pavilion enables clear views from the outside and inside, with the foyer façade having seemingly disappeared.


Detailed Description about the Project

Completion & location

2019, Herzogenrath, Germany


Molestina Architekten, Cologne, Germany


XXL panes measuring 18 x 3.2 m

Glass manufacturer

Saint-Gobain Building Glass

Glass finisher

Thiele Glas