Sustainable concept: The design of the waste depot Vogelsang of Stuttgart´s Abfallwirtschaft AWS (waste management Stuttgart) will be both an aesthetic and substantial foundation for future development on the property in the western part of Stuttgart.
Clear reorganization with additional value On the western edge of the state capital Stuttgart, the AWS stores and handles road salt and distributes grit to the city´s maintenance services. Additionally, waste products are being stored on the property throughout the year and gritting vehicles and garbage dumpsters are being cleaned. While the depot is designed to be without staff on site, apartment buildings and other facilities in close proximity might feel disturbed by the operation. Hence, the planning process includes a noise impact assessment that requires the construction of noise barriers on the northern and western edge of the property. In a second phase, the depot will be manned and include locker rooms, showers, restrooms, and common rooms.
Optimised workflows It was a particular challenge to stay within the budget while placing buildings and open spaces on a smaller area compared to the existing conditions and organise them in a way that optimises workflows. If one enters the grounds through the main entrance on “Unter dem Birkenkopf”, one would find in the northeast corner to the right a flat, functional building that hosts storage for waste materials, bulk boxes, and old bicycles as well as a garage for wheel loaders and the technical area. There is also a basic, thermally separated and heated staff area with restrooms that is well received by the AWS staff.
On the other side to the left, the much taller main building holds a road salt depot, a loading silo, and a brine production unit under one roof – the first of its kind in Germany. Through this spatial concentration of uses, the workflow of filling and loading the gritting vehicles can be operated very precisely. Depending on weather conditions, the facility can react quickly and choose the appropriate grit. To fill the salt depot, trucks drive into the storage garage where they dump their loads. Then, the salt is pumped hydraulically through underfloor systems into the adjacent loading silo. The gritting vehicles can simply drive through the main buildings in order to be reloaded.
The asphalted courtyard that opens up generously in the back of the property is designed to be used maximally despite the confined conditions. Not only does it serve as manoeuvring space for dump or silo trucks but also as vehicle cleaning station with a new light liquids extraction system. Zones for pressed waste containers are being envisioned directly next to the noise barriers behind the flat salt storage building.
Robust and striking materials The upper part of the main building raises above the other building fabric. The slightly translucent, light cap of polycarbonate multi-skin sheets follows the property´s small bend. It is UV resistant, waterproof, and non-breakable. The sidewalls consist of multi-layered wood panels that are supported by reinforced concrete pilaster strips. The wooden sidewalls protect the construction elements from the impacts of the salt. For corrosion protection purposes, most of the upper part of the building are structural timber as well.
The AWS depot presents itself to its surroundings with facades of untreated and unedged timber slabs. They continue into the noise barrier which is a steel-wood structure and defines the entire facility as one recognizable composition. The visual experience from the courtyard is shaped by load-bearing concrete elements and movable gates and doors. The materials extend into the interior which is designed rather simply due to its storage and technical purpose. Most of the building roofs and the front area of the property are covered with greenery. A photovoltaic system is installed on top of the salt storage building.
On the one hand, the complex task was solved with the required pragmatism. On the other, the design focused on the overall aspiration to value the work place. Based on the profound curiosity for the extraordinary in everyday life, the translucent shell of the main building allows – suitable for its purpose – for associations with a salt or ice crystal.