Preussag, representative office, Berlin

Interior fittings: construction, production and installation

Completion 2000


The most fastidious part of the work in the representative office at Preussag was the structural preparation and production of the parchment walls. More than just working with this old material was new to us. What did not make things easier for DWH was that the design’s joint samples did not follow standard panel dimensions, which meant that the Hellerau project team basically had to manufacture each panel separately. But it didn’t stop there. Even more complex were the specifications for the panel surfaces. As noted, the specifications from interior architect Andrée Putman called for a parchment finish, which normally serves in the manufacturing of lampshades. In order to obtain optimum results, we were given free reign in selecting the base for the panels, as well as the technology utilised to produce them. After numerous experiments, Hellerau settled on a base of particle board provided with a special edging. We put maple veneer over that because this material is comparatively tightly “sealed”. This was the best option because the tiny pores of the maple veneer would not be visible under parchment, as our material tests proved. Before the 0.4 millimetre thick parchment was applied to the panels, the veneer surfaces still needed to be varnished. DWH carried out the usual exhaustive tests on the process beforehand. The optical effect obtained in the end is without a doubt surprising. The coherency of the panels continues all the way to the edge – since there was no prefabricated edging, this was additionally manufactured and then incorporated into the production process. The panels with their parchment finish were mounted to the walls, doors and columns of the fourth and fifth floor of the representative Preussag office.

Text: Rainer Baginski
Photo: Bernadette Grimmenstein