Compiled by TeamIAnD
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The new design for the external space belonging to the office development “die welle” (“the wave”) is an urban design measure with an architectural context and an artwork.
Did you just ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ Well, architects Till Schneider and Michael Schumacher of schneider+schumacher have spun a bespoke design being inspired from the name of the complex in which it is built.
Enhancing the office complex "die welle“, located close to the Alte Oper in Frankfurt am Main, the architects explore the redesign of the external landscape using a three-dimensional wave that not only defines the space and attracts attention, but also creates an inviting place, where people will want to be; thereby revitalizing the area. “When we see something onto which we can project our own images, experiences and memories, it conjures up associations and emotions. It awakens our interest”, explains Prof. Michael Schumacher.
Even from far away, the new sculpture draws attention to itself, inviting further exploration. It is an attraction that promotes the urban integration of the office complex within the adjacent inner city district.
Made in aluminium, the sculpture consists of six elements that flow, wave-like, through the entire length of space that runs between the main buildings. Three of these elements prise themselves away from the floor as arches of differing heights. Arriving from the Opernplatz, a “diving arch”, some seven metres in height appears first; followed by the “glorious arch”, nearly eighteen metres high, which twists to form a semi-circular arena.
A few metres on, the aluminium sculpture somersaults into a seven metre-high “joyful wave”, before continuing more calmly as “flowing wave 1 and 2”, and then petering out in a last “chill-out wave”.
A new light-coloured asphalt floor surface running through the site further underpins the wave concept, and it appears to be a liquid, following its natural course. In a similar vein, and in keeping with the context, schneider+schumacher has created four benches. Each one is made out of a single straight piece of wood, which, owing to the way it is notched, can be bent into a wave-like form.
This parametrically developed redesign is another example of the architectural office’s “pragmatic poetry” design philosophy, which thrives on clarity of construction, an earnest approach to solving the architectural brief, and a delight in good detailing.
Client: AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets
Gross floor area: about 6.160 m²
Workmanship sculptures: Arnold AG
Structure Planning: B+G Ingenieur Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH
Landscape Design: KLA kiparlandschaftsarchitekten GmbH