the creative base of plajer & franz studio’s 45 architects, interior and graphic designers is located in one of kreuzberg’s largest industrial complexes dating back to 1898. their sensitive approach to the listed building clearly reflects the love of detail and sense of style they are so renowned for.
the striking mix of old and new is apparent as soon as you enter the light flooded reception area: existing ribbed slab ceilings and smooth suspended surfaces contrast each other as do the whitewashed stone walls and smooth plastered elements in warm mud colours, rough mastic asphalt flooring and customised furniture with sleek surfaces.
the monochrome colour scheme that pervades throughout the office is also clearly distinguishable: white and light coloured surfaces in combination with dark wood create a pleasant, neutral background for the individual colour accents of presentations, publications and unique collector’s items. the use of indirect lighting and punctual accents of light further underline the light/dark theme.
the contoured reception counter and curved wall covered in alcantara form an inviting gesture. at the same time, functionality has not been neglected: situated behind the wall is a storage area for office materials, the effective backlight also serves as lighting for the storage.
the open loft-like workspaces are lined with extremely large window fronts, where individual workstations are docked on. airy white curtains allow for separation of specific work groups when necessary. sideboards along the windows offer ample storage and workspace for all creative tasks while tall industrial storage racks cover the opposing walls.
the two floors of the office are connected by minimalist filigree stairs reminiscent of a gangway. instead of being protected by a conventional railing, the floor opening is bordered with high boards and a stylised zen garden. dynamically shifted vertical light strips connect wall, floor and ceiling thus creating an eye-catcher at the end of the stairs.
the conference rooms are only separated from other work areas by frameless glass walls with specially designed door frames that seem to be floating in space. satined surfaces and curtains allow for more or less privacy. all the latest technologies from w-lan to beamer projection are concealed within the walls, ceilings and fixtures to let the clear new design and the existing architecture come to the fore. doors designed as acoustic panels are only discernible as vertical colour accents within the space, while individual wall sections open up to store documents and beverages. presentation boards can be placed on magnetic wall panels or narrow wooden shelves.
on the top floor, a curtain guided in a spiral rail enables a flexible use of the space. depending on its position, a more or less enclosed semitransparent but cosy conference space is created. the fabric and carpet give the room pleasant subdued acoustics.
for smaller client meetings, the lounge in the executive office is a perfectly peaceful oasis. the couch, carpet, warm colour scheme and decorative elements create a homey environment. the iridescent blue fish of the built-in freshwater aquarium also have a soothing effect. all media technology is out of view, concealed behind the brass wall panels. those holding the aquarium are sound insulated and can be opened completely for maintenance.
the heart of the studio is the open kitchen. this is where the architects’ philosophy comes to life. whether it’s at the bar, on the couch or at the big table, communication and exchange of ideas is the key. during meetings, for breakfast or while cooking a meal together, the professional and social exchange here takes place in a relaxed atmosphere. on special occasions, integrated speakers and media technology can transform the space into a club or home cinema. with floor to ceiling sliding doors that disappear completely within the walls, the space can be shut off from the rest of the office.
annexed to the lounge is the studio’s “treasure chamber”, where the latest innovative materials and samples of the newest technological developments fill floor to ceiling storage racks.
the combination of function and aesthetics as well as the contrast between the industrial character of the building and the sophisticated new interior design, carry the signature of the berlin architects: it’s always the rough with the smooth and the hot with the cold, but never the lukewarm.
fotos by die photodesigner.de.