A new office building for the steel manufacturer Lecor, situated in Kungälv, 10km north of Gothenburg, was designed to showcase their technical capabilities and to create a striking landmark visible from the passing motorway. The building, which houses the Lecor headquarters, includes offices, dining area and adjoining kitchenette, meeting rooms, a library and changing rooms.
Working with materials, colours and textures that can be associated with the steel industry and its traditions, the building is clad in dark grey steel plates in a repetitive pattern. To emphasise the factory function of steel production, protrusions shoot out of the facades in the form of glass cubes sealed in a steel frame. These features are highlighted using the same pastel colour palette used in the interior, forming a windbreak on the first floor and the ‘dining cube’ on the second floor.
At the highest point, across the building, we further accentuate and advertise the factory’s steel operations by placing a conference room and an outdoor terrace enclosed in a long trussed bridge of plant-steel construction. The lattice frame is metallic silver and the contained conference bridge is pastel green with large glass partitions along three walls. Up here you get a 270 degree view out towards the deep woods of Sweden.
Inside, the first floor of the building is divided into four main parts: the dining room at one end with forest view, then changing rooms for ladies and gentlemen, the main entrance, with a spectacular staircase design of steel, and finally an office area including a yellow polished spiral staircase as a short cut up to the offices above.
The entrance hall resembles a sea of white with a large, dramatic staircase taking centre stage. With a core of tall painted steel walls constructing the staircase, the pattern of varied perforated holes into them resembles the white glow from welding. This is lit both by artificial and by natural light from the skylight. The walls of various heights extended up to the second floor, combined with their powerful visual expression, become the design elements of a worthy entrance for visitors and employees. In stark contrast to the white, as well as emphasising the staircase, the floor is laid with black ceramic tiles in a pattern made up of three different sized tiles. This pattern extends from the entrance to outside the building, forming a focus point inviting guests in.
Certain areas have been highlighted by ‘draping’ them in a selected colour giving the whole room a single colour on the floor and walls.. For example, the library on the second floor has a muted pink shade both on the carpet and the walls. Changing rooms, showers, toilets, some pantries and kitchens are covered with tiles and ceramic tiles in pastel blue, dull army green, pastel green, light grey, pale yellow and crisp white shades.
The second level has hardwood flooring in the box which is placed in different directions depending on the room features and to accentuate the directions in the plan. The parquet flooring is broken up in places, with the cloakroom/toilet’s snow-white tiled floors and the library’s pink carpet stretching out into the corridor. The walls of the office rooms are made of glass and the facing walls and doors have a soft grey tone. The ‘Dining cube’ has both interior and exterior accent colours in a bright yellow tone as well as blue radiators. This creates a bright and alert appearance of the building’s heart. Even the spiral staircase has the same bright yellow hue.Location: Kungälv, Sweden Architect: Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture