Posts tagged with "Germany":

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Vitra presents a digital installation for Salone del Mobile amid coronavirus

Emulating curtain-like folds, the undulating facade at Vitra Campus, Weil am Rhein, Germany, is round, but not quite circular. Designed by SANAA in 2012, the logistics center is still producing and shipping furniture—albeit with a skeleton crew. While the staff kitchen remains closed and most operations have halted, Vitra safely presented its 2020 collections online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In place of a pavilion at the now-canceled Salone del Mobile, Vitra’s CEO Nora Fehlbaum guided a virtual tour behind factory walls, presenting new and old products in two videos—one for the company’s Instagram and the other, longer cut version for private business partners.While most of Italy was in lockdown, the family-run Swiss manufacturer had just put the finishing touches on the Milan booth design. With four vignettes, each was designated to designers from four practices: Charlap Hyman & Herrero, F Taylor Colantonio, Gonzalez Haase AAS, and Studio Daskal Laperre. The pavilion structures that would have otherwise been shipped to Milan—which, had been reused in two previous Milan fairs—were remotely designed knowing that they would not actually be seen in person (even the designers themselves were not able to see their creations with their own eyes).
Read the full story on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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Large section of Berlin Wall demolished to make way for condos

Just several short months after the 30th anniversary marking the fall of the Berlin Wall, a nearly 200-foot remaining section of the concrete blockade was razed to make way for a luxury condo development in the northeastern borough of Pankow. While not particularly touristy compared to wall remnants found in central Berlin such as the East Side Gallery, this particular stretch of graffiti-clad wall embankment, hidden away in suburban Pankow, was one of the largest surviving sections of the 96-mile-long Berlin Wall and one of the last pieces of the Hinterlandmauer, or inner wall, remaining in the once-divided German capital. As Artnet notes, the Hinterlandmauer was built in the 1970s, a decade after the main wall, as a reinforcement barrier with the Pankow section running parallel to a now-shuttered railroad line that connected Berlin to the Polish border city of Szczecin. While not protected as a historical site, Smithsonian Magazine noted that the Berlin Wall Foundation did reveal plans to preserve part of Pankow’s overlooked inner wall—which stood about 11 feet high and was erected roughly 1,600 feet from the main wall—last fall ahead of the city’s reunification anniversary celebrations. An October article published in weekly magazine Berliner Woche directly mentions the potential preservation scheme, while also noting proposed plans to turn the disused stretch of railway tracks adjacent to the inner wall into a “cycling highway.”
“Today the hinterland wall is surrounded by trees and bushes. This part of the former border security system is only known to residents and obviously a number of graffiti sprayers. The Berlin Wall Foundation and the DDR Museum are currently working to ensure that this section is maintained. The chances are pretty good because the property is already owned by the state.”
As Der Tagesspiegel reported, the Berlin Wall Foundation and other historical groups were unaware of plans to demolish the 196-foot-long section of inner wall. Upon learning the news, they were left “horrified.” “The partial demolition of the continuous piece of hinterland wall on the Dolomitenstraße is a clear loss of original wall remains,” Manfred Wichmann, a curator with the Berlin Wall Foundation, explained to German daily Der Tagesspiegel. “This was a testimony to how deeply the border regime of the GDR intervened in the everyday life of the people in East Berlin.” City officials, however, seemed largely unsympathetic to the outrage of historians and preservationists. “No protected status was determined by the monument authorities; the foundation had obviously campaigned too late to preserve it,” City Building Councilor Vollrad Kuhn told Tagesspiegel. Der Tagesspiegel also noted that just months earlier Wichmann and others had stressed the vital importance of preserving more obscure remaining sections of the wall. Sören Marotz, exhibition director of the DDR Museum, also played up how the upcoming bike path could help to meaningfully increase exposure to Pankow’s inner wall. “This shows that such historical locations and new usage concepts go well together,” he said. Wichmann noted that just under a mile-and-a-half of original Berlin Wall segments are still standing in Berlin proper and although the demolished stretch in Pankow was not part of the main wall, it was a significant loss nevertheless. “They are disappearing more and more,” said Wichmann. As noted by ABC News, a plan to demolish the famed East Gallery in 2013 to make way for a luxury high-rise development along the Spree River was “met with outrage and public protest.” Still, some segments of the East Gallery were ultimately removed.
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Behnisch Architekten designs a serene home for renewable energy research

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), one of the leading research centers in southwestern Germany, recently ran short of lab space dedicated to developing and experimenting with new energy products. The platform commissioned Stuttgart firm Behnisch Architekten to design a single building that would allow its users “to explore the interplay of components in the energy systems of the future and in particular to speed up the Germany transition to renewable energy and production of electricity,” according to the firm. The result is The Energy Lab 2.0, a seemingly delicate timber and concrete structure of almost 19,000 square feet, all of which is wrapped in translucent polycarbonate strips. Copious amounts of natural light pour into the assembly hall, a nearly columnless two-story room occupying the center of the building, through the gossamer walls and saw-toothed ceiling. Wide-set walkways on the second floor are supported by hollow timber walls designed to resemble exposed balloon frames. Read the full story on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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The Sauerland Museum expansion staggers upward with travertine

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Arnsberg is a small German city located northeast of the Cologne metropolitan region. The city is centered on the Ruhr and is surrounded by protected forested land, and largely survived the damage inflicted on other German cities during World War 2. Arising from this historical context is the Sauerland Museum expansion, one of the citys most significant projects in years, constructed of self-supporting travertine cladding and designed by Bez + Kock Architekten. The project is an extension of the preexisting Sauerland Museum, which is housed in the Landsberger Hof, a former palace constructed in 1605. Typical for the era and regional vernacular, the palace is composed of lime-washed masonry arranged according to classical symmetry and topped with a steeply pitched gable.
  • Facade Manufacturer Lauster Schueco
  • Architect Bez + Kock Architekten
  • Facade Installer Fuellbier GmbH
  • Structural Engineer wh-p GmbH
  • Location Arnsberg, Germany
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Self-supporting masonry rainscreen
  • Products Gauinger Travertine
Bez + Kock’s extension is located at the bottom of a steeply pitched slope leading up to the palace—a challenging location in terms of urban planning and construction. The original concept of the extension called for constructing over the contours of the site, but was ultimately adapted at the request of the client into its finalized form of stepped massing which rises approximately 50 feet into a slender bridge linking the two structures. The facade is sheer and, due to the narrow mortar joints and select window openings, appears monolithic. Window openings, bar that on axis with the connect bridge, are canted from the rectilinear form to diffuse sunlight from the interior curatorial spaces. For the original concept of the museum, the design team intended to use locally sourced Grauwacke sandstone, which is known for its dark heterogeneous coloring—a color palette that would have seamlessly blended with the adjacent retaining wall. However, this dark cast was found unsuitable for the standalone stature of the reoriented extension. In response, Bez + Kock opted for Gauinger travertine produced in the Swabian Alps. While the project’s massing is distinctly contemporary and its facade is stripped of ornament, the masonry components are in part traditional in that they are self-supporting. “The pattern was developed in accordance with the technical requirements of all windows, doors and technical elements in the facade, and the lengths of the individual stones are random, which was a cost-saving decision,” said the design team.  “To enhance the horizontality of the surfaces and tie together the individual elements, we specified that the vertical joints would be flush, while the horizontal joints are mortared.”
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MUT Design breaks spatial barriers at imm Cologne

For the past nine years, stalwart furniture fair imm Cologne has mounted the Das Haus program: an annual walk-in home simulation and fair booth installation conceived by some of the most promising designers of the day. Since 2012, recognized talents like Todd Bracher, Luca Nichetto, Neri&Hu, Sebastian Herkner, and Louise Campbell have been invited to develop their own interpretations. Incorporating contemporary furnishings and finishes in a custom and experimental set design, each iteration of the Das Haus has illustrated one or more visions for the future of domestic life and interior design. Part practical and part speculative, the program provides a platform for an up-and-coming or mid-career designer to showcase and solidify their individual approach to the field. This year, the German fair called on emerging practice MUT Design to develop a Das Haus concept that blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. The Spanish duo—Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón—champions of an emotive approach to design. Evident in an abundant gamut of boldly-colored, richly-textured, yet cleverly minimal products, MUT Design's mastery of composition and geometry is only matched by its understanding of materiality and visual impact. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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Oscar Niemeyer's last structure is nearly complete

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer maintained his practice until he died at the impressive age of 104 in 2012. One of the last projects he designed, a 40-foot-diameter sphere hanging off the corner of a 19th-century red brick building in Leipzig, Germany, is scheduled to be completed posthumously in Spring 2020. The design is based on a sketch drawn by Niemeyer in 2011, a year before his death, while the remaining details were supplied by Jair Velara, the office manager of the studio Oscar Niemeyer. The addition, officially named the “Niemeyer Sphere,” includes a smooth 40-foot-diameter sphere and a discreetly-designed supporting structure. The project is in the center of the Techne Sphere Leipzig campus, the main factory site of tram-manufacturer HeiterBlick and railway-crane manufacturer Kirow Ardelt AG, and will function as a cafeteria, bar, and lounge for on-site staff. The project was an opportunity to demonstrate impeccable manufacturing through notable methods: Fifty wooden molds were crafted by hand to construct the mold for the sphere’s concrete shell, while an innovative liquid-crystal glass was developed in 2018 specifically to reduce solar glare within the building’s well-lit interiors. The design recalls the floating utopian spheres of Buckminster Fuller, the precarious Coop Himmelb(l)au-designed rooftop remodel for Schuppich, Sporn, Winischhofer, Schuppich in Austria, and the otherworldly spatial experiments of Haus Rucker Co. The project was begun in 2017 with an anticipated completion date of 2018, but construction was halted for a year while the team waited for the glass to be manufactured off-site. Ludwig Koehne, the owner of the campus, commissioned Niemeyer based on the openness of his previous designs. “The more walls you have,” said Koene, “the less progress you can make as a company. You need contact with other people. Niemeyer’s pavilion is a highly original way to bring those people in.”
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Germany selects a team for the Venice Architecture Biennale, but what about the U.S. Pavilion?

The German Federal Ministry of Interior, Building and Community has announced the curatorial team for the German Pavilion for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2020, which will take place May 23 through November 29. Following the recommendation of a jury chaired by Peter Cachola Schmal, director of the German Museum of Architecture, the ministry has selected team “2038” to move forward with their concept of how we'll live in the next decade.  The concept is described as a “review from the future,” in which society looks back from the year 2038, “because everything ended up okay,” according to the curators. In this speculative view of the future, architects helped build success by answering “the great questions of our time” and standing up for the “common good” by focusing on systemic solutions. The concept is expected to be presented in detail in early 2020.  The team consists of curators Arno Brandlhuber, Olaf Grawert, Nikolaus Hirsch, and Christopher Roth, and was chosen due to the project’s “representation of future-oriented solutions for relevant social, ecological and economic problems,” according to Anne Katrin Bohle, Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Interior.  But with the announcement of the German Pavilion, it leaves us on this side of the world wondering, when will the United States reveal their selection? A source familiar with the bureau at the U.S. Department of State that manages the biennale selection alongside the National Endowment for the Arts told AN that the lack of information on such matters could possibly be related to the backlog in issuing grants as a result of the last government shutdown.  While the United States government has gradually increased the amount of financial support given to presenters up to $325,000 (including $125,000 to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice), it is stated in U.S. Dept. of State application documents that “Past experiences have shown that the overall cost of mounting an exhibition of this scale is considerably higher than actual U.S. Government funding that can be provided through this grant.”  Organizers could expect the need to raise up to another $700,000 to complete a successful bid. With the Venice Architecture Biennale only seven months away, given the amount of time and effort such fundraising requires, the indecision on announcing the selection is hardly fair to the organizers, and mounting a pavilion on such short notice could prove to be an impossible task. 
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To celebrate the Bauhaus centennial, German researchers show off new robot printer

This summer, to celebrate the centenary of the Bauhaus, the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Weimar, Germany, hosted an exhibition called sumaery2019. At the exhibition, the university showcased some of the latest innovations in robotics, displaying a cable-driven robot that 3D printed cementitious material, designed by a team led by professor Jan Willmann, in cooperation with the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and the University of Duisburg-Essen. The robot extruded and deposited layers of the "concrete" onto a platform to create a shell around a large steel structure. The robot moved over long distances across four cables, similar to how cameras work for sports broadcasts. (the Weimar robot also featured a high-resolution camera to capture what it was doing). The benefits of the robotic cable system, according to Willmann, is its ability to “to perform a variety of non-standard building processes, beyond the workspace restrictions imposed by conventional CNC-machinery.” He goes onto explain that “this means that the required components can be produced at full-scale, on-demand, on-site, and in practically unlimited forms and sizes, eliminating the need for additional formwork, transportation over long distances, and standardized parts.” The researchers hope that the robot showcased new possibilities in computational design and formwork-less additive manufacturing. “The results not only demonstrate the innovative aesthetic and functional potential of the robotic process," said Willmann, "they also provide a fascinating insight into the future of digital design and the manufacturing process in a real-world scenario.”
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Researchers and robots team up to build innovative pavilion in a German garden

Installed on the grounds of the 2019 Bundesgartenschau (BUGA) biennial horticulture show in Heilbronn, Germany, the BUGA Fibre Pavilion is a the product of years of research in biomimicry at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE). Biomimetic design aims to produce structures, materials, and effects after principles and processes found in nature. In other words, the BUGA Pavilion is a not-so-primitive hut inspired by fauna rather than flora. Specifically, the pavilion’s 60 woven structural components are inspired by fibrous biological composites like cellulose and chitin, which form insect wings and exoskeletons. Evolved over millions of years, these naturally occurring organic fibers are incredibly efficient and incredibly strong. Adapting this principle to architecture, the Stuttgart team created the 4,300-square-foot BUGA Fibre Pavilion using half-a-million-square-feet of a human-made synthetic equivalent—glass- and carbon-fibers weaved together by a robot working between two rotating scaffolds. The resulting hollow warped cylindrical elements, which each took four-to-six hours to produce, resemble a toy finger trap. Workers connected them together on-site to form a dome shape spanning more than 75 feet. An appropriately advanced skin, translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), covers the fibrous synthetic muscle system. The design process required intense computationally-powered iteration. Although complex, the manufacturing process is wondrously efficient, producing zero waste and obviating the need for any formwork. It’s also quite strong. Five times lighter than a comparable steel structure, each component can withstand 250 kilonewtons of compression force—or, as the design team notes, “the weight of more than 15 cars.” The fabrication method recalls the futuristic 3D printer featured in the opening sequence of the HBO sci-fi series West World. The comparison is apt because the pavilion truly feels like something from the future. Indeed, as the researchers note, “Only a few years ago, this pavilion would have been impossible to design or build.” Thanks to the dramatic advancements in material science and our powers of scientific observation, the Stuttgart team was able to unite human innovation with natural principles to create something beautiful that perhaps transcends both science and art.
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Valentin Loellmann's first New York solo show is an exercise in restrained artisanal experimentation

The careful fusing of natural wood and cast bronze produces a happenstance burnt-finish that craft-led designer Valentin Loellmann embraces when creating bespoke furniture pieces. In fact, the Maastricht-based German artisan rarely begins a new piece based on preliminary sketches. Rather, he allows the material and a bit of experience-driven technical expertise to drive his process. Though Loellmann composes sculptural works with a tabula rasa approach, they often take on the shape and reference of furniture archetypes: a Shaker-style chaise-lounge, airplane-wing-like bench, monolithic table, towering armoire, amoebic ladder, strategically-jointed chair, and even a semi-circular staircase. Currently on view at New York’s Twenty First Gallery, in partnership with Paris-based collectible design purveyor Galerie Gosserez, Loellmann’s first solo show in this city, presents a robust selection of monumental pieces, all somehow coated in a layer of iridescent copper or cast bronze. Patinated surfaces and marble slabs are encapsulated in organically-carved yet suggestively-angular dark wooden frames. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.  
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German hotel greets the street with a sintered stone facade

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Completed this year, the Flare of Frankfurt is a seven-story, mixed-use project of hotel rooms, residences, and offices located in the center of the German city. The 260,000-square-foot project, designed by German-Iranian architectural practice Hadi Teherani, is clad in three-dimensional slabs of sintered stone. The massing of the complex matches the cornice line of the surrounding historic building stock and is split in two by a courtyard—offices and hotel rooms to one side and residences to the other. Between the wings is a smoothed facade segment with small punched openings. Window openings for the rest of the street-facing elevations are rhythmic, with the panels overlayed in a form reminiscent of a stretcher-bond brick pattern, albeit oversized and projecting from the structure.
  • Facade Manufacturer Neolith Schüco International KG
  • Architect Hadi Teherani
  • Facade Installer FFM Barczewski
  • Facade Consultant Zentrale Technik for Ed. Züblin AG
  • Location Frankfurt, Germany
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Lithodecor Airtec Stone
  • Products Neolith Arctic White Silk
For the design team, the diversity of surrounding structures was a characteristic to embrace and embed within the facade’s design. The project is located on the northern terminus of Frankfurt’s Grosse Eschenheimer Strasse, a north-south axis squarely embedded within the city center. Frankfurt, like much of Germany, was severely damaged during World War II. As a result of wartime damage, the general streetscape of the city is marked by rehabilitated historic structures linked by post-war modern and contemporary infill. “We wanted a strong coherence of the design language throughout the project in order to lead to a compelling address in the city of Frankfurt,” said Hadi Teherani Senior Architect Christian Bergmann. “It takes up elements of the surrounding building which come from a variety of different epochs—bay windows of stone-clad listed houses from the turn of the century and curtained post-war structures from the 1950s onward.” Produced by Neolith, the three-dimensional sintered Arctic White Silk panels measure approximately 10 feet by 38 feet. The panels are produced with the use of three principal resources: granite powder, glass minerals and silica, and natural oxides. To create the slabs, the materials are subjected to extremely high pressure and are subsequently baked in a kiln where temperatures top out at 2200° F—the result is a cladding and surfacing material similar to stone in both appearance and performance. The approximately quarter-inch-thick sintered stone slabs are mounted atop a facade system, Lithodecor’s Airtec Stone, consisting of an aluminum substructure placed along a lightweight concrete base. After the panels were assembled, Lithodecor coordinated with the contractor to transport the system through Frankfurt’s narrow street network to the site. According to Lithodecor’s head of product management, Phillip Wirtz, the panels were “literally hooked onto supporting steel beams, a process requiring a high degree of precision.”
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1100 Architect blends the new and old with the sensitive use of fiber-cement boards

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1100 Architect's East Side Lofts is located in the Osthafen, or East Harbor district, of Frankfurt, Germany. Heavily damaged during World War II, the district is composed of historical vestiges and contemporary infill. The East Side Lofts effectively combines the two with a restoration of the landmarked Lencoryt Building and a six-story addition clad in fiber-cement boards. The imposing massing of the Lencoryt Building—a former office and textile factory—is enlivened by four-story Corinthian columns, classical detailing, and generous fenestration, and topped by a soaring mansard roof. At first glance, the asymmetrical location of the principal entrance suggests something is awry with the historic building. It is, in fact, incomplete, and would have been twice its size had World War I not drained the country of building resources and labor.
  • Facade Manufacturer Eternit Schueco
  • Architects 1100 Architect
  • Facade Installer Popiolek Fassaden Metallbau Wolf
  • Location Frankfurt, Germany
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Single fiber cement rain screen
  • Products Eternit Fiber Cement, Schueco Aluminum Storefront
"Our addition doubled the size of that building (bringing it to scale at which it was originally designed)," said 1100 Architect Founding Principal Juergen Riehm. "The form responds directly to that historic structure, adapting the shape, scale, and proportions of the original, but rendering it in contemporary language." Located adjacent to the bustling port of Frankfurt, it was imperative that the cladding of the new addition obstruct unwanted sound cascading off the waterways. 1100 Architect achieved this objective with an interplay of toned fiber-cement panels and recessed window bays highlighted with yellow window reveals for visual effect. In line with the 1100 Architect's portfolio of high-performance facades, the design of the East Side Lofts followed stringent sustainable techniques. Reihm continued, "together, with the manufacturer, we designed the envelope of the addition as a cohesive system—a single rainscreen that encloses the facades and roof." To reduce the carbon footprint of the project, the design team also sourced the concrete from Eternit's facilities approximately 60 miles south of Frankfurt. The construction of the contemporary addition was accompanied by the painstaking restoration of the Lencoryt Building. The design team, collaborating with the Frankfurt Landmarks Department, pored through archival drawings and imagery to determine the historic structure's original detailing. Based on historical evidence, masonry was repaired, window frames rebuilt, and mosaics relaid. Conference Co-Chair Juergen Riehm will be joining a panel, “Facade Syntax: Changing Context and International Regulations,” at The Architect’s Newspaper’s upcoming Facades+ New York conference, a two-day event at the beginning of April focused on the design and performance of facades.