Dealing with time

Boutique A. Lange & Söhne, Dresden

Deutsche Werkstätten services:
Interior design, planning, project management, interior furnishing

Completion 2007


To quote Mahatma Gandhi: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” And even the moneyed clientele of A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, have to bide their time when they desire their own personal Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ Tourbograph. After all, manufacturing the 465 individual parts alone takes an entire man-year. To help mitigate the wait, a client is allowed to share in his or her emerging masterpiece of mechanics for 15 minutes each day. A tribute to modernity.

Mixing a tradition of craftsmanship and technical innovation is also the philosophy underlying our own work. Nor do the similarities between our two companies end there. Both companies enjoy a rich history spanning more than a century, both are of Saxonian origin, both were born anew after reunification, both are wholly cosmopolitan and yet both feel an intrinsic bond with Dresden – not only the home of the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau, but also of Lange company founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange. Born in 1815 in Dresden, here is where he learned the watchmaking trade and apart from a few apprentice years spent on the road, he remained true to his hometown until he was 30. In 1845, backed by the Royal Saxonian Ministry which looked to create new jobs in the Eastern Erzgebirge by establishing a timepiece manufacturer in the region, he relocated to Glashütte.

In retrospect, it seems entirely logical that both companies came together in creating something brand new. After 162 years, A. Lange & Söhne decided to open its first-ever showroom at Töpferstraße 8, near Dresden’s Frauenkirche. In honour of the company’s founder, whose extraordinary sketchbook was to assume such a substantial role in the design, Dresden became the first showroom location. Shanghai and others will follow. Such an elegant address, such a small space: 65 square meters was all we had to work with to showcase Lange’s intricate world and philosophy and at the same time integrate a sales area, a VIP room plus a back office. The very latest in security and presentation technology was an absolute must and yet had to be completely invisible or, at the most, unobtrusive.

A. Lange & Söhne commissioned the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau with the design, planning, development and realisation of this project. Whereby in reaching out to the Meissen porcelain manufacturer, we gained the benefit of yet a third traditional Saxonian enterprise for the detail work. Coffered Lange-grey walls contrasted by furniture of dark, domestic acacia wood and floors and bases of bright local sandstone are constitutive design elements. Actually turning this project into reality required just as much engineering skill as it did craftsmanship. In order to illustrate what we mean, we would like to show you not only the finished product, but also a few snapshots detailing the production process.  

Text: [Translate to Englisch:] Helga Falkenstein
Photo: [Translate to Englisch:] Bernadette Grimmenstein