Fiberline’s new production and office building is a result of close collaboration with Professor Jan Søndergaard of KHR Architects. His brief was to design a building that would be an efficient and functional workplace - but which would also be attractive and inspiring architecturally.
Fiberline had very precise and demanding requirements as to how the building should look. First of all, the production layout had to be conducive to efficient production flow, with input of raw materials at one end of the building, the pultrusion lines in the middle, and the machining functions and warehouse at the other end.
It was equally vital that the factory should promote integration between company departments and provide a good working environment in which the personnel would feel at ease.
The building should breathe “Fiberline” wherever possible. The architecture should be attractive and timeless and fit into the adjoining landscape. Building materials and construction standards should in all cases reflect high quality, with good and relevant application of Fiberline’s own products.
Architect Jan Søndergaard’s vision was to create an industrial building that could become a part of the surrounding countryside. He took inspiration from the aerodynamic shape and functionality of Viking Age forts and also from Fiberline’s modern materials and processes.
The building appears almost organic, a mound that rises from the landscape and then sinks back into the ground. But the organic form is broken by something angular and modern, the stair towers that cut across the facade. Contrasting with disciplined production efficiency the slanting towers are an irrational element, symbolizing the eccentric and creative thinking that are needed to supplement the rational creed of engineering. The long, narrow bands of fenestration are inspired by threads of glass fibre.
The building is a strange blend of the poetic and the rational. Jan Søndergaard describes the architecture thus: “Like an inspirational narrative in time and space, Fiberline’s new building rises out of a scenic embrace with the location and its potential. This embrace extends from the prehistoric structures in the open countryside, across our time, towards a ‘future space’ intended as the framework for continuing innovative creation processes.”
“The building volume is a product of the vertical movement which is caused by the landscape ‘arching its back’ towards the light of the sky. This movement induces three massive fissures through which daylight penetrates, contributing decisively to the architectural quality of the space and allowing constant dialogue with the sky amid changing weather conditions. A scenic enclosure forming a collective work space for all activities and thus defining the company’s collective identitity.”
Architecture and practicality
The building’s architecture is a daily delight. The physical framework is perfect for our production; it has enabled production efficiency to be streamlined still further. And the high roof space and gentle daylight are conducive to employee wellbeing.
Light and movement are always present, the building lending itself to distant perspectives – inwards, outwards, upwards, downwards. Daylight and space feel close at hand throughout the building.
The openness and transparency engender a sense of closeness. We are visible physically through the large glass sections, and the production factory is one large room. Just as in an anthill, activity is everywhere to be found. In production, on the stairs, on the administrative levels. This conveys a sense of fellowship.
Energy+ factory Fiberline’s production activity – making composite profiles- is not energy-intensive, and Fiberline’s products are instrumental in overcoming the global climate challenges.
We therefore find it natural that Fiberline’s factory should also set new standards.
In designing Fiberline’s factory we attached importance to creating a building with the best possible environmental profile.
The factory blends smoothly into the landscape so that motorists still have a view of open countryside.
All noise sources, such as filters and compressors, are located inside the plant, thereby minimizing external noise impact. The roof of the factory is entirely free of ducts, pipes and vents.
The factory is constructed to the specifications of Low Energy Class I, which makes high demands on energy balance, tightness and insulation. As a result, energy consumption for heating, lighting and ventilation purposes is minimal.
Heating, lighting and ventilation are needs-driven and centrally monitored and adjusted on an ongoing basis.
We have therefore created the basis for our vision of having an “energy+ factory” – a low-energy plant supplied with sustainable energy from its own renewable energy source.
We envisage the company producing electricity by its own wind turbine, and on windless days maybe utilizing solar energy produced by solar cells mounted on the factory’s south-facing sloping roofs.
Fiberline's own wind turbine already produces more than half the electricity consumption of the factory.