Michael Wilford & Partners has completed a 20,000m2 production plant for Sto AG in Germany - the second phase of the render manufacturer's ambitious site redevelopment. The Sto silo tower and service factory at Weizen, near the Black Forest, will provide storage for more than 11,000 tonnes of raw material for the production of paint and plasters.
The buildings, arranged in a Z-shaped form, are decked out in a dramatic colourscape. The 53m-high upper section of the tower is crowned in the company's signature yellow and contains a cluster of 62 storage silos, clad with a folded metal facade in silver and white. The tower's magenta-coloured steel structure and the rainbow colours of the silos are visible through the glazed ends, and the base and tower are connected on the north side by a yellow latticed structure containing the emergency escape stairways.
A series of stepped linear planes house shallow strips of glazing, allowing natural daylight to penetrate the upper areas of the service factory with minimum glare and heat gain. The planes are recycled glass, painted with purple/silver metallic lacquer, which appears to shimmer to passing traffic.
The 15-year Sto development site masterplan began in 1997 with the completion of the elaborate Communication Building K (AJ 21.1.99). Phase 3 will comprise a new pavilion, exhibition cube and semi-circular garden.