Igus Courtyard Cafe

Bryden Wood, Cologne, 2021



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Igus is a German manufacturer of technical products made of high performance plastics; Bryden Wood designed the existing headquarters from 1990, which was built in 7 phases.

In 2019 we were appointed to enhance the courtyard of the existing building and design a dynamic, high-quality respite space for the factory employees. The design divides the courtyard with four glazed ‘pods’ covered by an ETFE lightweight canopy which follows the prevalent grid of the existing Igus building. The courtyard emulates the architectural and structural design of the Igus building with its high-tech aesthetics, natural light and flexibility of internal arrangements and thus, establishing a coherent transition from inside to outside. The existing Igus building has extremely strong and iconic design features that are now intrinsic to the image of the company; the Courtyard Café design aims to emulate and not detract from those, whilst providing a multi-purpose, reconfigurable space. For example, the large yellow pylons, centred to the space, are the main focus of the courtyards. The new envelope around the central pylon is defined by the perimeter of the pods, which are connected to each other by double doors that fully enclose the space. By providing doors on its four sides, the flexibility of use and potential future reconfiguration of the space is ensured; the sliding and turning glazed partitions allow the pods to be fully open in summer months, whilst an enclosed and heated space can be created during winter months. By “plugging in” a structure that allows to enclose an otherwise outdoor space in the existing courtyard, the boundaries between interior and exterior are dissolved. This feature is enhanced by the transparency of the air-supported pod roofs, which honour the roof domes on the existing building and provide a seamless transition from the building to the courtyard.


  • Begun: Feb 2020
  • Completed: Nov 2021
  • Floor area: 122m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £341,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Feb 2020
  • Procurement: Client specific
  • CO2 Emissions: 104.26kg/m2/year
  • Address: Spicher Str. , 1a 51147, Cologne, Germany

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