Ippolito Fleitz Group designs the Phoenix Real State offices in Frankfurt, an open space with humor
New offices of the Phoenix Real State company in Frankfurt, designed by Ippolito Fletiz Group are presented as a high-quality, open space. Clear office architecture on a white background offer a tantalising contrast to the warm wooden panelling of the building’s access core.
This effect is heightened by three display cases, opulently filled with tropical, jungle-like vegetation. In addition to making a surprising and decorative impression, they also make humorous reference to the processes in the industry itself, as well as to the project developer’s and its customers’ hopes and desires inherent in the projects under development.
Neon lettering fronts each perfectly arranged artificial flower backdrop, with a line from a Beatles song to suit each room: “Eight days a week” in the director’s office, “We can work it out” in the conference rooms and “Here comes the sun” in front of the secretary’s office. The Beatles theme comes from an anecdote from the founding days of the company when, as a joke, the four managing directors worked out which of the four band members they each most resembled. A further tonguein-cheek reference can be found in the WCs, where a phoenix ascends from a stylised cage into a cone of light projected on the rear wall.
The rooms that lead from the reception area are not hermetically sealed, but remain visible thanks to the display cases and floorto- ceiling glass façades. A further layer is created in front of the glass walls by cupboards fronted in acoustically absorbent, micro- perforated artificial leather.
A series of large-format photos was compiled to decorate the office walls. The highly associative images refer to the self-image of the company (a small bird that tackles tough challenges like a cactus), its origins (the broom as a synonym for Stuttgart’s famous ‘sweeping week’) and its business (Chuck Norris, the polar bear). Most of the photos are not permanently installed and can be freely recombined to make new backdrops in the individual rooms.
The overall result is a spatial ambience in dialogue between the rationality of a clear, precise and transparent architecture and the emotionality of warm materials and surprising, humorous elements such as the display cases and images. The office is transformed into an open narrative, an invitation to discuss topics, desires and the working practices of the project developer. It thus becomes a mirror of the personality of the company and its stakeholders, and its narrative can be reinterpreted and reinvented time and time again by each of its four managing directors.
Information & images by courtesy of Ippolito Fleitz Group
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