Precision of Simplicity
Deutsche Werkstätten services:
Interior furnishing, manufacture of freestanding furniture
The Rhine is not only one of Europe’s most important inland waterways; most still consider it a special privilege to live or work close to its banks. This sentiment is no different in Düsseldorf. Part of the redevelopment of the general complex girdling the Ehrenhof, today the ‘museum kunst palast’, a major project assigned to Cologne architect Oswald M. Ungers in 1995, saw the rising of the new corporate headquarters for power and gas giant E.ON AG. The semicircular building is made up of three segments. The outer ring matches the height of the Kunstpalast. The straight façade of the tower segment faces the city and is connected by the middle ring to the outer wing, a 95 meter long gallery made wholly translucent by its glass and steel design together with glass roof. The company’s actual administrative centre, however, is the tower building. In 2008, in addition to the foyer, a 10th floor conference area for the corporate management and the board of directors was thoroughly reconstructed. This work included modernising the communication technology. Bödecker Schulte Partner from Bochum was commissioned with the planning and design. The entire interior work was entrusted to Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau. The spiral handrail for the single-story stairs to the 10th floor was finished in one piece in Hellerau so there would be no joints. Measuring nearly 2.5 m in diameter, this was no simple undertaking.
The initial design focus was on the 10th floor conference area. The objective here was an interaction of spaces, a precise optimising of interconnectedness. Short hallways, a clear spatial concept and a minimalist design style were further stipulations and are also reflected in the redesigned ground floor reception area. Conceived as a follow-up project, the 10th floor was likewise realised by Bödecker Schulte Partner and Deutsche Werkstätten. What looks to be extremely simplistic and almost incidental required the absolute highest precision to achieve. That in terms of both our skilled craftsmanship as well as the knowledge and expertise of our engineers. It was important to us that our designs would prove their worth not only in their ease of use but would also stand up beautifully to being in constant use. This tenet invariably carries through to the material we use as well as new material combinations being chosen with increasing frequency. As for example the marriage of stone and glass combined with the latest in LED lighting. We see these kinds of exceptional touches as characterising our work.Text: Helga Falkenstein
Photo: Bernadette Grimmenstein