Project Description

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Extraordinary Architecture thanks to DICTATOR Dampers

Adidas Brand Center, Herzogenaurach (Germany)

In 2006, the Adi Dassler Brand Center (ADBC) became the home to the Adidas Headquarters. This unusual building has been designed by the Viennese architectural office Querkraft. Adidas had asked them to create a building which represented the permanent values of the brand.

The dimensions of the building named “Black Crystal” are about 160 x 70 m. At day you just can see a homogeneous black glass structure from the outside. Even doors are not visible. The interior was to be as free of obstructive columns as possible in order to easily adapt to different events. That is why Querkraft chose a box within the box construction. The inner box is made from prefabricated concrete parts, the outer one is a glass-steel construction. Both are statically independent. Querkraft describes the problem as follows: “The technical challenge in planning the façade was to create an uniform, transparent and jointless building envelope which covers all presentation, storage and public areas like a bell jar. The ‘Black Crystal’ was intended to be a sharp-edged, plane and transparent large-scale form without expansion joints or sections.” A conventional façade fixed to the roof (about 10,000 m²) was not a possibility, since even small changes in temperature could considerably extend or diminish the dimensions of the roof.

The DICTATOR solution

In the end, this architectural, technical and financial challenge was solved with the help of DICTATOR dampers. They were installed between the heads of the façade pillars and the steel construction of the roof (see photo). They easily make up for the effects of changing temperatures and winds without any complicated control technique. The dampers, which have to work in both directions, have to meet exceptional requirements:

  • 1 mm travel per minute at a load of 5000 N
  • Idle stroke as short as possible
  • Tolerances in the 1/100 range

Especially for this application, DICTATOR developed a hydraulic damper which compensates changes in temperature and permanent wind load. Moreover, with sudden wind gusts these dampers act as a rigid link between façade and roof. In the Brand center almost 100 dampers work virtually maintenance-free, day and night for a perfect and impressive appearance of Adidas.

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The Adidas Brand Center, Herzogenaurach, the “Black Crystal”: A unit without any compromises

individual hydraulic damper

Interior view of the “Black Crystal” – detail