A green building in Sibiu
A characteristic Transylvanian city with a mediaeval layout, Sibiu was for centuries a crossroads of peoples and cultures and has more of a Central European than a Balkanic feel. Founded on a Roman settlement, it was rebuilt in the 13th century by Saxons from Germany. Like all of Transylvania, it was part of the Habsburg Empire until the First World War and succeeded in retaining its mediaeval and baroque charm through the communist regime.
Using funding received following its designation as European Capital of Culture in 2007, in recent years the city has restored its museums, repaved its public squares and repainted the facades of churches and buildings in the historic centre, as well as launching a wide range of urban planning projects.
This extraordinary facelift has revealed Sibiu’s cosmopolitan and at the same time extremely contemporary character.
The city’s cultural and economic resurgence is epitomised by a strategically located modern business district just five minutes away from the city centre and directly connected to the city airport, at the centre of which stands the Hattrick Office Building as a new urban landmark, an emblem of contemporary and environmentally friendly architecture.
Designed by SQMArchitecture, the building was completed in May 2018 and extends over a 7,500 square metre area on nine levels, one of which is underground. As the architects explain, they wanted to create “a new landmark in Sibiu that would break away from the severity of typical office building façades in terms of form and the use of materials and colours”.
Externally it consists of two stacked volumes characterised by different approaches to the vertical scales: a larger “monolithic” base comprising the ground floor and mezzanine, where the external windows integrate and alternate with the ceramic cladding, and a slimmer upper six-level volume with a cubic profile, which features an external metal mesh panel structure separated from the porcelain cladding.
The metallic envelope, which has the function of shielding the façade from direct sunlight, is divided up by a zigzag line that extends around the entire perimeter of the building and which the architects saw as “symbolically reproducing the profile of the Făgăraș mountains that surround Sibiu”.
The sculptural form of the façade cut becomes a powerful visual element by the day, thanks to its yellow edge, and at night, when the relationship between light and darkness is reversed and the building is transformed into an urban lighting element.
SQMArchitecture is renowned for its attention to the quality of building materials and technologies and for its environmentally friendly approach to design. As “one of the primary goals of the project was to create a sustainable building”, the architects opted for a ventilated façade system completed with thin Laminam panels (1000×3000 mm with a thickness of 3 mm and fibreglass reinforced backing) in Collection Perla and Nero finishes.
Laminam ceramic panels are a natural and fully recyclable product made from natural raw materials using sustainable technologies and combine high resistance to weathering and external stresses with intrinsic eco-sustainability.
Thanks to the design choices made by SQMArchitecture, the Hattrick Office Building was the first building in Sibiu to obtain BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) environmental certification, one of the most prestigious international certifications attesting to the sustainability of buildings.
1000x3000 mm Laminam 3+
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.3%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): da A a B
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant