Mapei continues to invest and consolidate its position in Germany through its subsidiary Sopro Bauchemie, Germany’s leading company in the production of chemical products for the building industry, and currently also operating in Poland, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands and Switzerland. This important investment is for the construction of new headquarters in Mainz-Kastel in the Wiesbaden district, north Germany, and a complete upgrade of the Research & Development laboratories and training centre, with the design and artistic direction by the Milan architecture firm, Onsitestudio, in collaboration with Milan Ingegneria and Drees & Sommers.
Opening the groundbreaking ceremony, held Tuesday 2 November in the presence of Mapei management, Sopro staff and various representatives of Weisbaden city council at the site where the new complex is to be built, Veronica Squinzi, Mapei CEO, declared: “It is so exciting to celebrate the start of work on this project launched in 2015 thanks to the will, including of my father Giorgio, to strengthen research activities with new laboratories, and to have spaces dedicated to training and offices in a modern, stimulating work environment. A project that unites functionality and architectural beauty, and that represents an example of the kind of sustainable building which, as a group, we also foster and promote through our business activities”.
Construction of the new headquarters, extending over an area of 20,000 square metres, addresses the need to group all management and administration offices, the technical services department, training centre and the Research & Development laboratories within one single site.
Marco Squinzi, Mapei CEO, declared: “When Mapei invests in a territory, it brings with it all its characteristics and values. The construction of these new research laboratories will help us leave an innovative imprint and create new expectations in wellbeing for society. Our training centres are also fundamental, where we teach designers how to integrate our solutions to extend the durability of buildings and, as a result, their sustainability”.
The new space also an answer to the company’s need to increase production capacity at the Mainz-Amöneburg facility, a short distance from the new offices, which is currently commissioning a new mixing line for an additional annual production capacity of 70,000 tonnes. In addition, there is also the complete replacement and upgrading of the entire process technology control system to bring it in line with the most modern standards. And lastly, the production plant has 14 steel silos which are scheduled to be brought on line in December this year.
“For these new headquarters we wanted to design a building that was beautiful, essential, durable and sustainable”, declared Simona Giorgetta, member of the Mapei board, “A building amongst buildings. A single complex characterised by differing heights and dimensions to form a circle around a large, open space. The empty space of the courtyard is the element that connects the various adjoining parts to form a whole, becoming the place that represents the building itself, the place where people may flow together and meet”.
The new headquarters: cutting-edge R&D laboratories and a modern training centre
The new structure, spacious and with clean lines, is made up of five adjoining and inter-connected buildings encircling a large courtyard. In the first building there is the main entrance and three floors of office spaces, while the second building houses the new training centre and canteen. In the third building there is the test area, along with all the structures and services required for the area. The modern research laboratories and relative offices and structures are located in the fourth building, while the fifth building houses the Technical Services Department and warehousing facilities. Access to the complex is via a central entrance, from where it is just a short walk to the admin offices, laboratories and workshops.
Apart from being functional, the buildings have been designed to be particularly environment-friendly and sustainable: high-efficiency photovoltaic panels will be mounted on all the roofs, charging stations for electric vehicles will be created and a sophisticated waste-water management system will be installed. These and many other measures are being implemented to help achieve Gold Certification standards according to DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council).
Onsitestudio designed the new headquarters using an approach that takes into consideration nature and the contextualisation and potential of the materials employed, an approach that characterises all its projects, focusing not only on settings and surroundings, but also experiences and atmosphere. The architecture firm’s most recent works include Sassuolo Calcio’s “Mapei Football Center”, for which Onsitestudio received a Mention of Honour at the 2021 Italian Architecture Awards, promoted by Triennale Milano and Fondazione MAXXI.
The new headquarters of Sopro Bauchemie will become operational once construction work has been completed, which is scheduled for April 2024.
Sopro Bauchemie: more than twenty years of excellence under the Mapei brand
Founded in 1985, Sopro Bauchemie joined Mapei Group in 2001 and has 350 employees across Germany. The company is well-known and highly appreciated for its research work and innovation in the field of construction materials, including ceramic and natural stone, waterproofers, screeds, fillers for floors and walls, rendering systems, industrial floors and the design and repair of concrete. The brand’s strength is based on years of experience in mineral and cementitious systems, along with its extensive knowledge of chemistry applied to construction work.