Falk Areal Freiburg

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Innovation and health
under one roof

Year: First prize in competition 2022, completed 2026

Client: LIFA Breisgau GmbH

Program: Office building with restaurants, conference center and urban space for the city

Size: 30,000 m²

The new headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Dr. Falk Pharma will be located in Freiburg, Germany next to the city’s historical locomotive workshop building; Die Freiburger Lokhalle. Cobe’s winning project draws inspiration from the architecture of the locomotive workshop building, taking cues from its pitched roofs and rational, industrial design language. The 18,500 m² future-proof innovation campus will offer 350 workplaces, restaurants and public facilities. Flexible and robust workspaces facilitate different styles of working, with visual connections on the interior and direct access to greenery. This flexible design also allows the headquarters to adapt over time as the needs of the company and the tenants evolve and vary. The building structure consists of a modular hybrid-timber construction with wooden interiors creating a calming working atmosphere.

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The Falk Area is embedded in the city of Freiburg, adjacent to the historical locomotive workshop building, the Freiburger Lokhalle.

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The campus is located in between the city center and Die Freiburger Lokhalle.

The pharmaceutical company - Falk Pharma - wanted to create an attractive workplace close to the city center of Freiburg. Inspired by the adjacent locomotive workshop building, the innovation campus reinterprets the industrial characteristics in a contemporary design. The campus strengthens the urban environment and connections to the green boulevard with new urban squares for the public.

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The grid structure from the locomotive workshop building extended to the campus.

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Modern reinterpretation of the existing roof scape and industrial design language of the locomotive workshop building.

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The rhythm of the locomotive workshop building translated into an urban carpet, that defines the landscape design.

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The public square connects the historical locomotive workshop building with the innovation campus. In addition, the public square establish a connection to the existing urban fabric in Freiburg.

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In front of the campus, a public square offers the local neighborhood an urban space and a place for gathering.

Holistic health as
a design parameter
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Three new squares integrates the campus with the urban fabric.

With the campus, three squares are established strengthening better connections to the neighborhood. As generous urban spaces, each of them unites and strengthens different qualities of the Falk Area and provides new gathering places for employees and the neighborhood.

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The public square offers a flexible layout for various activities and events for the residents of the Falk Area.

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The garden square offers a green retreat with seating areas in between lush vegetation.

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The mobility square offers bike parking for the employees and the visitors, connecting the campus with the city and local shops.

The public square connects the neighborhood to the historic locomotive building and provides local residents with an urban space for various activities and events. The green square provides a break from everyday life in a lush green garden. The mobility square ties into Falk Area’s holistic health initiative ensuring bike parking for employees and visitors.

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The new innovation campus next to the locomotive workshop building.

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The garden square providing a mental break in a lush green urban space.

The facade as
a green layer
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The facade has a playful and diverse appearance created by the greenery.

The building is wrapped in a performative green facade. The plant species, varying in lengths, colors and density, create a playful yet cohesive facade. Not only do they contribute to the appearance of the building, but also regulate the temperature and sun radiation on the interior.

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The performative facade provides natural protection from the sun preventing overheating during summer, but allowing light penetration throughout winter months; helps to regulate the temperature; and includes easy access for maintenance and care of the vegetation.

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The green roof is used in many ways, becoming a gathering place with climbing plants growing, a greenhouse for growing plants during winter, providing sun protection or electricity from solar panels.

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Different plant species with varying growth heights and colors create a diverse facade.

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Future-proof
working
environment
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The atrium and courtyard is the heart of the innovation campus.

The new innovation campus establishes a place of encounters between the public, employees, and visitors. The public ground floor offers a café, restaurant, and facilities for various activities. The central atrium is the heart of the building, providing a communal atmosphere across the office spaces. Social zones on all floors promote interaction between the employees of various companies - strenghtening a positive work environment.

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A public accessible ground floor.

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A central atrium and courtyard strengthen visual connections across the office spaces.

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Social zones located at office spaces across floors.

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The ground floor of the campus is accessible to the public, offering a café, restaurant and other public facilities.

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The office space layout combines open floor plans and private offices, meeting the different needs and styles of working. This flexible design allows the office spaces to adapt over time as the needs of Falk Pharma and other tenants evolve and vary, strengthening a future-proof working environment.

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Floor plan of an office space layout.

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Location: Freiburg, Germany, completed in 2026

Client: LIFA Breisgau GmbH

Program: Office building with restaurants, conference center and urban space for the city

Size: 30,000 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2022, completed 2026

Collaborators: Büro Happold, Dekra

Team: Caroline Nagel, Dan Stubbergaard, Emilie Van Daele, Hugo Lebrunet, Jessica Jie Zhou, Julius Puttkammer, Lene Zingenberg, Leonie Johann, Lola Rieger, Mario Steiner, Mark Aron Thomsen, Marlena Lipnicka, Max Neumeister, Ornella Clappier, Rosa Bui, Valentina Rapuano

Photographer: Ulf Kollross, Haller Architekten