Over 50 Years of Experience
In 1960, Dr. Björnsen and Dr. Kalweit founded their firm as consulting engineers for water management and hydraulic engineering – and after more than five decades it has developed into a company with several subsidiary firms and branches in 12 locations – 11 in Germany and one in Poland. The head office is still located in Koblenz.
In 1971 the firm was renamed as Ingenieurbüro Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Björnsen für Wasserwirtschaft und Wasserbau. Prior to establishment of the limited liability company in 1978, the firm had about 40 employees. Since 1988, Björnsen Consulting Engineers officially does business under the name Björnsen Beratende Ingenieure GmbH. Today the company has 11 partners and approximately 200 employees.
Maria Trost 3 – Our Head Office is a Pleasant Place to Work
Our well-established firm in Koblenz searched throughout the 1980s to find a suitable and central location for new offices. In 1991, our engineering firm ultimately found the Maria Trost site, which offered the opportunity to expand in close vicinity to the autobahn and to the B9 state highway. Independent architects Jutta and Peter Schürmann began by overseeing renovation of the existing building, which was ready for occupancy in 1994. Within less than two years, employees also moved into the new building.
The new building received a simple and unpretentious exterior facade. The fact that all of the materials, such as the larch boarding, are left exposed to the natural aging process underlines the restraint of the building design. Spiral stairs of stainless steel and colorful window frames set fresh accents. The north-south orientation of the new building corresponds to the former monastery building. And in this way, the positional relationships between old and new allow a wind-protected and sunny area for rest and relaxation that corresponds to the former cloister in terms of geometry and location.
By request of the company founder, the exterior of the former nurses' home and community hall remained virtually unchanged. One is immediately struck by its round arches and mullioned windows and the slate-covered roof. Together with a rose garden, the remnants of the monastery wall, and the old trees, the office complex keeps alive the history of the Maria Trost monastery.
“With a small virgin forest at play” – the Westhyp mortgage bank honored the building group with its 1996 architecture prize.
“This ... engineering office sets many standards: the existing buildings of a former monastery have been carefully renovated, unpretentious new buildings do not compromise the integrity of the old one, collaboration and communication has been improved with a well-considered plan layout, and a verdant site and its character have been retained among commercial buildings....”
For its Maria Trost office complex, which combines adaptive reuse, refurbishment and new construction, Björnsen was awarded the BDA Architecture Prize in 1997 by the Rhineland-Palatinate state affiliate of the Association of German Architects.
In their judgment: “... The highly agreeable surroundings inside also continue outside. Enriched by the existing stock of trees, the outdoor space has a special appeal. The existing buildings of a former monastery, also converted here into offices in exemplary manner, make the complex into an oasis within the business park.”