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“It’s meant to be unfinished…”

This is rather nice. British furniture brand Vitsœ has opened a new headquarters and production facility in Leamington Spa. Their ‘intentionally unfinished’ cross-laminated timber headquarters features a saw-toothed roof and modular construction that means it can be easily updated.

“Vitsœ is best known as the manufacturer of furniture and storage systems by German designer Dieter Rams, including the modular 606 Universal Shelving System and the recently relaunched 620 Chair Programme, both from 1962. The firm developed the new building as an extension of its “system-thinking” approach, which focuses on products that are flexible, modular, and can combine to form larger systems.

Vitsœ’s in-house team collaborated with yacht designer, Martin Francis, as well as various engineers, academics, architects and timber fabricators to realise the structure as a kit of parts that can adapt in response to the needs of its users over the coming decades.

Located on the former site of car manufacturer Ford’s foundry, the facility is within walking distance of the Warwickshire town’s centre and houses offices, a research and development department, a showroom, a museum, software development, product assembly and overnight accommodation.

The building was designed to have a strong connection with its surroundings and features large windows that frame views of the landscape, while allowing passersby a glimpse of what is happening inside.

The row of north-facing skylights allows daylight to pour into an enormous space where employees from different teams work together in an environment intended to promote inclusivity and collaboration.

The company claims the facility is the first in the UK to feature a framework made from beech laminate-veneer lumber (LVL). This laminated structural timber uses high-performance hardwood instead of the more standard softwood to achieve greater strength in beams and columns with a smaller cross section. The use of wood is not only more environmentally friendly than other commonly used construction materials, it also allows the building to be easily modified if required in the future.”

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