Frankfurt’s office buildings are tall. Yet the SOLO WEST stands out – because it’s a solitaire.

SOLO WEST

Frankfurt / 2014

Frankfurt’s office buildings are tall. Yet the SOLO WEST stands out – because it’s a solitaire.

SOLO WEST

Frankfurt / 2014

This ten-storey office building opened at the beginning of the 1990s as the ›Lahmeyer-Haus‹. Like many buildings from that time, the increasingly sophisticated demands of tenants and Frankfurt’s oversaturated business real estate market quickly rendered the building no longer competitive. It stood empty for many years until project developer Phoenix Real Estate recognised its attractive position in Frankfurt’s Westend and decided to completely gut and revitalise the building. Since Phoenix itself rents office space in the building for its Frankfurt branch, the brief was simple: »to build the best house in the respective market segment«. Our studio was commissioned to design the entrance lobby and the access and supply cores for all storeys, as well as interior architecture for two rented offices.

The impressive lobby serves as a shared business card for all the different tenants. It stands out in a striking way from the lobby architecture that dominates much of Frankfurt. The height of the compact, two-storey room is exaggerated by means of a wall design composed of vertical lamellae. The lamellae are staggered at irregular intervals, giving the walls a dynamic progression. Moreover, concealed interstitial absorption fields ensure unexpectedly warm acoustics.

The ceiling is formed by a suspended, polygonal, folded element of glossy, polished stainless steel, which further elevates the room. Spots set in the gap between the ceiling and the lamellae illuminate the wall elements from above. The light source remains invisible, so the walls appear to magically glow. Light points are formed at the top edges of the lamellae, an effect that appears even larger and brighter in reflection on the ceiling. Moreover, the folded ceiling creates new and surprising effects depending on the perspective of the beholder.

Three sculptural objects in the entrance area pick up on the shape of the ceiling element: a letterbox located in front of the building, an upholstered seating element and a reception desk of black and white solid surface. The lobby provides an unrestricted view of the lifts. The access and supply core located around the lift shaft is identical on all floors. Viewed from the outside, this area is completely panelled with walnut veneer lamellae, thus offering a warmer variation on the sophisticated theme from the lobby. The overlap of the individual lamellae renders the doors to adjacent areas invisible, thus creating the impression of a homogenous, wooden corpus. A circumferential light strip further emphasises its monolithic form. Access to the lifts is incised into this corpus, and the area within is panelled in floor-to-ceiling tiles. Here wooden pilaster strips run down the walls like veins, making the walls appear as cross-sections cut through the room.

Acoustically functioning, fully accessible metal lamella ceilings of anodised aluminium are installed in the corridors and in the atrium to the lifts.

With the revitalisation of this rather outmoded Frankfurt office block, the investor Phoenix is aiming to appeal to a new target group with more prestigious aspirations. For the realignment of SOLOWEST we have created spaces with high-quality materials and an elegant accentuation in the design of all public areas. This high standard also explains the fact that the entire redevelopment was given a LEED gold certification for sustainable construction.

Awards

  • 2016 / iF DESIGN AWARD

  • 2016 / IAI Design Award
    Finalist
  • 2015 / DDC Award Gute Gestaltung
    Bronze Award
Client
  • PHOENIX Real Estate Development GmbH
Location
  • Frankfurt
    Guiollettstr. 48, Frankfurt/Main
Status
  • Completed (2014)
Categories
Photography
  • Zooey Braun
  • Dirk Dirk Matull
Team
  • Kim Angenendt
  • Andrew Bardzik
  • Alexander Fehre
  • Katja Heinemann
  • Christian Kirschenmann (Senior Project Manager Interior Architecture)
  • You Seok Kirschenmann
  • Hélène Lahache
  • Tim Lessmann
  • Yuliya Lytyuk
  • Emma Nishimoto
  • Isabel Pohle
  • Enrique Sanz Segura
  • Verena Schiffl
  • Marina Schlachter
  • Markus Schmidt
  • Daniela Schröder
Partner
  • Lichtwerke Köln (Lighting Design)
Copyright
  • Ippolito Fleitz Group
Publications

Magazines
Online media