Feasibility study Conversion of warehouse into a plant research centre with greenhouse

Revitalisation of a disused industrial site

The client, a regional botanical research centre, had the following brief for the conversion of an existing warehouse built in 1942 on the site of a former aluminium tube manufacturer:

The "project" is an international research centre where research is carried out and which at the same time functions as a meeting place and residence for partners who want to get to know the products developed in the centre better, who want to promote the products, sell them, present them to their customers or discuss new product developments with the researchers. In short, a place to do research and a place to be. Hence the idea of an inner courtyard with seating and a medicinal herb garden, a meeting room with access to a terrace on the first floor of the warehouse with a view of Lake Constance.

The existing warehouse, which is listed but not classified, is a wooden structure with vertical timber boarding inside and out. The warehouse is part of a larger industrial site. The client's intention is to purchase and develop only the warehouse and some of the surrounding land.

The first step was to define the new boundary. Then the existing buildings had to be inventoried; in addition to the warehouse, there is a building with garages and a technical room on the site. The inventory formed the basis for further development. 

The building with the garages and technical room is to give way to a greenhouse. The greenhouse will be used for growing and preparing plants, as well as providing an open and covered space for events.

The ground floor of the warehouse houses a reception, waiting area, office, research and wet rooms. The existing goods lift has been converted into a passenger lift and a new staircase has been installed at the location of the existing one to provide access to the upper floor. On the north side of the upper floor, a roof cut-out was created for a terrace with a view of Lake Constance. The remaining space on the upper floor is intended for offices, meeting/conference rooms, lounges and ancillary rooms.

The two buildings, the former warehouse and the new greenhouse, are connected by a covered walkway, which also acts as a privacy screen. A courtyard with seating and a medicinal herb garden will be created between the old and new buildings.

The brief was completed with a site plan and an overview plan showing the main public transport links.

Project information

Area of expertiseArchitecture, Design, Planing, Study