Sto Factory and Silo Tower

Michael Wilford & Partners, Wilford Schupp Architekten, Weizen, 2003


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South facade 

Richard Bryant/Arcaid (website)     Download Original

  • South facade    
  • West end of factory with temporary cladding at lower level    
  • North of the silo tower with windows to processing areas    
  • Slot for proposed cube and clover leaf buildings, which fit at rebate in render    
  • North of the factory with low–level workshops and the factory above, glazed with glass troughs    
  • Red hood to viewing balcony, now a stop on the visitors’ factory tour, but to become the springing point of a bridge to a future building    
  • Southerly saw-tooth    
  • Despite the building depth, there is good outside contact through windows onto the hillside to the north    
  • Factory opening onto the southerly terrace    
  • South-side daylighting, shown here in the materials store above the factory production floor    
  • Clusters of silos    
  • Batching equipment in the silo tower    
  • The long-term masterplan. The current phase comprises buildings 13 (silo tower) and 14 (factory). Building 15 is the proposed entrance and exhibition building    
  • Workshop level plan    
  • Factory level plan    
  • Cross section    
  • Model showing proposed clover-leaf and exhibition cube building    
  • Axonometric showing proposed clover-leaf and exhibition cube building    
  • The site before the road was closed, to the left of the road is the new building site    
  • Isometric sketch of south facade    
  • Facade detail    

Second phase of Michael Wilford and Partner’s 1994 masterplan for Sto’s industrial plant in southern Germany

In contrast to the K building, which already provides the long-term architectural context of the site, the second phase of the Sto masterplan has no architectural metaphor.

The new building is carefully scaled to the low-rise heart of the site while making links to the larger forms of existing industrial buildings. The plan of the building comprises two offset rectangles – the silo tower and just-in-time factory, sharing some functional connections, though different in broad purpose.

The silo tower is essentially the wrapping of an industrial process. The factory is more room-like, but still largely a few unspecific spaces.

Using an essential palette of folded elements against a background of render or metal sheet, with glimpses of glazing, each functional zone is articulated by differing forms and colours. Wilford’s characteristic magenta articulates the main structural elements; the colouring of the silos is architectural rather than functional. Using strong forms and changes in scale, each facade of the building plays a different public role making connections with the outdoor spaces.


  • Begun: Mar 2000
  • Completed: Nov 2003
  • Floor area: 20,545m2
  • Sector: Industrial
  • Total cost: £18.4M
  • Address: Weizen, Germany

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