Beton Schwimmbad 

This outdoor swimming pool in Darmstadt is an exercise in tectonic eloquence, a seamless integration of making and thought.

The project’s simplicity belies its complexity, that being the elimination of any trace of structural expression in order to maximize the visceral impact of the white cast in-situ concrete. This was achieved using a bespoke steel frame which encased the shuttering during construction; there is no evidence of shuttering joints or anchor points, just a smooth white surface, articulated within a classic orthogonal form.

The outdoor flooring specification is the same as the adjoining family room: Italian coquina stone slabs. These generate a welcoming ambience, inside and out, as well as providing an all-important slip-resistant surface around the water. A fully retractable safety pool cover, accessed from a hidden slot, provides additional peace of mind.

The connectivity between the indoor and outdoor spaces is further articulated by the alignment of the flooring joints and the complementary off-white shades of internal plaster and external render. Both wall treatments harmonise with the colour, depth and texture of the stonework.

Within this dynamic, the scheme’s subtle integrated lighting highlights the project's core qualities:  structural rigour, timeless geometric proportions and exacting materiality

Beton Schwimmbad
White cast in-situ concrete, stone slabs and integrated lighting

Villa S, near Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
White cast in-situ concrete, slate, steel & glass
Completion date: August 2014

Workshop Siegen

The Workshop's distinctive form references the classic garage format with forecourt. Its simple steel frame structure is fitted with fibreglass translucent panels to provide energy-efficient insulation and a softly diffused light inside, the latter facilitating productivity by creating a calm and relaxed environment in which to work. At night, the building functions as a light beacon, illuminating the main entrance to the industrial complex.

In addition to the panelling's insulation, light diffusing and signage properties, its sub-structural configuration, comprising a series of delicate horizontal seams, animates the grid like composition, as articulated by the mainframe and mullions. Collectively, these details accentuate the dramatic cantilevered canopy.

Internally, a concrete box, housing the office and washroom facilities, stabilizes the main structure via a series of horizontal and vertical steel struts. These eliminate the need for external cross bracing, so preserving the aesthetic clarity of the architecture and its impact as a light beacon. Only standard industrial products were used in the making of Workshop Siegen.
Herkules Machine Factory, Pittsburgh, USA

Meticulous detailing and geometric rigour define this well engineered glazed box, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The building houses the US administrative headquarters of the Herkules Group, a world leader in the manufacture of roll machining equipment.

Within the scheme the sculptural articulation of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems - all designed to be powered by the building’s geo-thermal heat well - reflects the project’s no-nonsense industrial aesthetic. This can also seen in the elegant folded steel plate staircase situated at the front of building; and in the use of translucent glass panels, which allows diffuse light to illuminate the central service spine housing the technical infrastructure and kitchen.

In plan, the offices and meeting rooms face outwards, on both levels, in a U-shape configuration around the service spine, so enabling them all to enjoy the quality of light afforded by the full height glazing design. Sun glare is subtly managed by semi transparent screens. On its west facing side, the building offers scenic views of the neighbouring woodland area.

The reception area, double height lobby and stairwell organise the building's south facing composition. Externally, the facade is finished with a striking roof sign in perforated mesh.

The sign serves three functions: first, as a way of enriching the architectural box typology; secondly, to locate the development in its surroundings, the sign being visible from the nearby highway; and finally, to soften the visual impact of the mechanical plant equipment sited behind it on the roof.
Mixed-use Complex, Obernburg

This well-crafted mixed-use development responds sensitively yet assuredly to its surroundings, as can be seen in how its entrance block massing complements that of the nearby clock tower within the old city wall; in how its carefully scaled fenestration echoes that of the neighbouring properties; and in how the ground floor colonnade configuration animates the development at street level.

Internally, three over-sized concrete column blocks disseminate the building's heft, while also functioning as conduits for the various technical services, all of which are easily accessible. Taken as a whole, this structural arrangement delivers a series of uninterrupted floor plans, so offering end-users a high degree of flexibility in the internal arrangement of the spaces.

The building's clarity of layout is equally on show in how the main circulation area, located within the atrium, serves as both a reception hall for the offices on the first floor, and a lobby area for the apartments on the upper level. Within this central volume, the steel mesh balustrading complements the exacting aesthetic of the untreated cast in-situ concrete. In addition, lacquered plaster is used where tactile contact comes into play, as with the monolithic looking bridge above the entranceway, which connects the office floor areas located across the building's two main blocks. This link also functions as a 'visual pin', its form and solidity adding depth and drama to the atrium design. 
Country Hotel, Pittsburgh (USA)

This scheme for a luxury hotel, some 80 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, USA, offers panoramic views of the Pennsylvanian countryside. A series of concrete blocks and floor slabs articulate the project - the former housing the services and utilities, the latter the bedrooms and recreation facilities.

The building’s horizontality defines its mood, its presence in the landscape. Two monolithic slabs organize the lower level, grounding the hotel in its surroundings; while the upper section, housing the bedrooms, is tectonically lighter, with slender floor plates and full height glazing on all four sides.

The hotel's upper composition is setback and right aligned, creating a generous ground floor decking area, which, in turn, creates a strong inside/outside dynamic with the hotel’s high-end bar and restaurant.
Doctor´s Practice, Frankfurt am Main

A minimal palette of floating white planes, accented with indirect lighting, creates a calm, orderly ambience within this medical practice in Frankfurt.

The main corridor's ceiling and two end walls are treated with one continuous floating plane. This delivers a mild compression of space, generating an atmosphere which is both arresting and assured.

The entrance lobby and reception room, which transverse the main corridor, get the same floating plane treatment. The result is a cohesive, gentle aesthetic running throughout the practice.

In plan, the three plane ceiling configuration serendipitously disseminates an elongated cross, a subtle reference to the medical profession.

Colour Hotel, Frankfurt am Main

The project entailed a complete re-branding and internal renovation of an existing five-storey hotel.

The new branding is comprehensive, the logo design being applied to a variety of end uses - from an illuminated sign box on the outside of the building to stationery and coffee cups, key wallet holders, visiting cards, and the semi cryptic information board in reception.

Throughout the scheme, the clean white aesthetic underpins the accent colour concept. Each of the five floors is assigned its own colour, selectively used for soft furnishings and for the over-sized graphics for room numbers and room types that animate the corridors. An additional wall graphic in each bedroom disseminates the five-colour narrative. The curtains are also colour-coded, so enabling the hotel’s front façade to function as a giant billboard.

In the lobby, the design treatment is both measured and relaxed. A bespoke lime green sofa with colour-coded cushions delivers a contemporary and stylish focal point; while housed in a large wall mounted lightbox, fashioned as an artwork, a series of seminal travelling quotes, from Goethe and Oscar Wilde, entertain guests and visitors alike.
Advertising Agency, Frankfurt am Main

Three elements - a wall, a ceiling plane and a block - organise and define this interior solution for a Frankfurt advertising agency. The block functions as a utility node, containing the reception, server room, kitchen and washroom. The wall demarcates the main work area from the entrance; absorbs extraneous noise from the busy street; and houses a multi-folding screen, used when more privacy is required. The ceiling plane acts as a spatial interface between the block and wall, adding depth and drama to the composition as a whole. In essence, these simple rectilinear forms disseminate a sculptural configuration that encapsulates the clarity and flexibility of the loft-style working environment.
Pavilion Siegen 

Pavilion Siegen’s dramatic composition articulates an assured yet subtle compression of space, framing views of the lake and the local topography. The building’s tectonic rigour is palpable, with its seemingly gravity defying configuration enabling the floor plate and ceiling to cantilever some 6m beyond the lakeshore.

The scheme is both a weekend fishing retreat and a garage for three classic cars. A toilet and washroom facility is also included, as is a storage unit for the client’s angling equipment. Detailing is measured throughout - from the integrated lighting to the fully glazed internal area.

A strict proportional grid organizes the composition: the floor plan measures 12x12m; the interior, 9x9m; and the oversized steel doors, 3x3m - these were manufactured by the client's engineering company, as were the bespoke spindles on which they pivot, allowing each door, weighing 340 kilos, to be opened with a push of a single finger. The grid template was also used to configure the shuttering joints and fenestration divisions.

Structurally, the cantilevered platform comprises a series of precast concrete slabs, tied back to massive drum foundations. A finishing layer of in-situ concrete gives the floor surface an aesthetic uniformity. The walls and ceiling were similarly cast in-situ.

Integral to the project is the concrete's carefully formulated off-white finish; this refines the pavilion's dialogue with the surrounding terrain. And, from an environmental standpoint, the use of special non-oiled shuttering ensured that the lake’s fish population came to no harm during the construction process.
Villa Stolberg, 

This comprehensive residential renovation - comprising landscaping, restoration work and a ground floor rear extension - confidently disseminates the modernist palette within a traditional suburban setting.

The project's bold architectural landscaping in fair-faced white concrete complements the scale and massing of the house. The existing façade of the building is maintained, accentuating the dynamic between old and new.

Within and to the rear of the villa, the dining area, kitchen and living room have been reconfigured as one large, open plan, L-shaped space which connects with the generous terrace, courtesy of two sets of over-sized bespoke glass doors and the same oak flooring running inside and out.

Restoration work within the villa’s internal lightwell is thorough and respectful - and, in the case of its dramatic sky vista, enhanced by a frameless, neatly detailed glazing unit.

Generously portioned cast in-situ concrete slabs provide steps to the front entrance which align with a similar configuration at the rear of the building, the latter connecting the terrace with the lower section of the garden. Both feature the same minimal steel railing design which elegantly contrasts with the scale and solidity of the project as a whole.

The two-tier hard landscaping at the rear of the villa conceals a subterranean garage with room for three cars.  
Penthouse Wirth 

Penthouse Wirth's titanium zinc tile cladding refreshingly contrasts with the building's late 19th century architecture and the traditional vernacular of the surrounding properties. The result is a classic juxtaposition of old and new.

Conceptually, two orthogonal volumes articulate the build, generating the views and quality of light. At the front, a large dormer window with floor to ceiling glazing provides morning sunlight to the living areas. At the back, a generous open terrace, accessed via large-format windows, takes full advantage of the evening sun. Within the main design, a series of wall panels allows for more intimate spaces to be created, if so required.

As a way of further enhancing the loft style living experience, the bespoke glazing to the outside area can be folded and slid back into the adjoining wall, so delivering unobstructed views of the Frankfurt skyline and the hills beyond.

In addition to the work undertaken on the penthouse, the five-storey house was fully renovated, both internally and externally, as part of the commission.

Penthouse Simon, Königstein 

This striking penthouse, which sits atop a three storey late nineteenth century residence in Königstein, utilises a substantial steel A frame to maximise its volumetric potential. The result is an open-plan, column free space which is 7m high at its apex.

A mezzanine floor, detailed with a glass balustrade, forms the main sleeping area. Below, three large folding wall panels enable the open plan format to be subdivided into a series of smaller, more intimate spaces. Dark slate flooring adds depth and texture to the clean white aesthetic.

The apartment's new glazing sensitively complements the building's facade fenestration as a whole, which is protected by an historic preservation order.

The visual impact of technology is kept to a minimum courtesy a comprehensive computer controlled system neatly concealed within the fabric of the interior. This manages the dwelling’s heating and lighting requirements, delivering, as part of its programme, fourteen different illumination scenarios via a series of bespoke lamps which are subtly integrated into the full-length cupboards and window niches.
Penthouse H 

This late 19th century top floor apartment has been completely transformed, resulting in a voluminous, open plan living area. New roof glazing delivers a generous source of natural light, while continuously changing sky vistas ensure a contemplative connection with the outside world.

Integral to the apartment design is the reconfiguration of a previously inaccessible section of the loft, now functioning as a gallery and workspace, with an adjoining terrace offering impressive views of the Frankfurt skyline. These read as one continuous space, courtesy of the striking glazed doorway design and the same slate flooring running inside and out.

Throughout the scheme the slate floor adds depth and texture to the clean white aesthetic, while the classic grid layout facilitates an exacting spatial template for all the interior furniture. 
Villa Wiesbaden 

This imposing three-storey villa, built in 1904, required additional space for its three apartments. The solution: a bold modern extension which dramatically counterbalances the massing of the main structure.

As part of the building programme, the villa was firstly completely renovated, its original facade and internal floor plan carefully reinstated. The restoration process involved painstakingly removing more than 80 years of minor alterations, all conducted in close consultation with the local preservation authority - the dwelling having been issued with an historic preservation order prior to works commencing. The resultant work allowed a thorough analysis of the villa's massing and spatial grandeur, which in turn informed the extension's robust orthogonal structure.

In addition to its spacious, light-filled interiors, the new extension delivers a private outside area for each of the villa's three apartments, respectively comprising two south-facing balconies on levels one and two, and a sunken courtyard for the lower ground floor. These vantage points reinstate the garden as an integral part of the property, as does a communal south-facing window which elegantly frames views of the garden’s oak tree.

Within the scheme as a whole, new and old are subtly bound together via the shared entrance datum level. This sets the depth of the base on which the contemporary block sits. The shared plinth motif is further reinforced via a finishing layer of concrete applied to both the villa's pedestal and the extension's base.
Apartment K

The striking clarity of this en-suite bathroom emanates from how the white aesthetic perfectly complements the sculptural quality of the design; and in how the bespoke glass screen, together with the glass mosaic tiling and the natural wood flooring, elegantly defines the enclosure. Indirect lighting is the final element, seamlessly connecting the bathroom space with the bedroom. An exacting precision is evident throughout. No tiles were cut in laying the floor.

In the guest washroom, a right angle mirror system generates an infinite perspective, its impact heightened by the atmospheric lighting concealed within the floating ceiling. High quality detailing and smooth white surfaces add to the overall effect.
Apartment S

Two large internal blocks orchestrate this office-to-residential conversion, zoning the apartment into three well-defined areas, as well as co-ordinating its indirect lighting, and providing a generous amount of storage space. Both units are fitted with sliding doors which neatly counterpoint the horizontality of the block design.

The scheme's south facing glazing orientates the layout. A glass balcony, set off from the main living area, provides the necessary inside-outside dynamic, while the internal bathroom is detailed with a large glazed aperture that offers impressive views of the building’s garden. The quality of light and legibility of circulation together with the solid oak flooring create a sophisticated ambience throughout.      

The Centralstation, in Darmstadt, is a cultural venue housed in what once was an electricity generating station, built in 1889. The new scheme is comprehensive and well articulated, comprising a main hall for rock concerts on the ground floor, a viewing gallery on the mezzanine level, with a lounge bar directly above, and a concert chamber on the upper floor for jazz and classical recitals.

A bespoke mobile bar, finished in oak veneer, services the ground floor's range of activities. Four service points, integrated into the floor surface, support this concept: each node contains water, waste, electricity and IT connections. To facilitate circulation, a new staircase, constructed out of 4mm steel plating, and detailed with integrated lighting, connects the ground floor to the mezzanine level and the cocktail lounge bar above. This latter space is fitted with a frameless glass wall in order to provide physical and acoustic autonomy from the main hall below. A translucent finish to the upper half of the glazing delivers a sense of privacy when standing and views downstairs when seated. The furniture in the bar is bespoke, its horizontal accent contrasting with the lounge’s long linear configuration.

The concert chamber on the upper floor is accessed via the main stairwell situated in the entrance lobby. The exposed aluminum roof structure animates the space, as well as acknowledging the building's industrial past. Preserving the volumetric integrity of these spaces, while making them fit for purpose as a live venue, was fundamental in the development of the overall design. To this end three subtle architectural elements have been introduced: first, a mobile stainless steel bar, featuring a backlit onyx marble inlay; secondly, a stage and its backdrop, both crafted in selected veneer, the latter housing the integrated technical services; and finally, a series of storage units to provide secure space for the seating.

A key detail of the storage design is its multi-folding doors, serving as acoustic panels when so required. Externally, the doors are configured in stainless steel; internally, they are clad in a sound absorption carpet, the quality of the hall's acoustics being significantly altered when the doors are opened and extended. In addition, the vibrancy of the carpet’s colour alludes to the panel's functional importance, as well as visually contrasting with the hall’s industrial aesthetic. 
Chapel of Rest 

This winning module design for a chapel of rest, as selected by the city of Frankfurt, uses light as a primary material, channelling its ethereal properties and its ability to evoke transcendence and the sublime. Shorn of excess, the scheme’s elemental composition effortlessly generates a sense of serenity and reflectivity.

Southern daylight, via a vertical slot in its south facing elevation, gently guides the mourners into the chapel. Indirect overhead light, filtered through the lantern like structure, softly illuminates the proceedings.

Whilst each chapel adheres to a strict proportional system, the design's flexibility allows it to adapt to the scale of a specific cemetery, its architectonic presence remaining undiminished. Initially, the plan is to build four of these non-denominational chapels, with the aim being to extend the design to all cemeteries throughout the municipality of Frankfurt.
12 x 12

This bespoke light fitting illuminates Villa S, a cast in-situ concrete house, in Schriesheim, in Southwest Germany.

The lamp delivers both internal and external coverage; works within the structural parameters of the concrete ceilings; and complements the architecture’s exacting, pared-back aesthetic. Existing fittings were unable to meet these requirements, hence the development of the villa's very own luminaire, measuring 12cm x12cm x8cm.

Internally, the design comprises 49 1W LEDs mounted on a platina plate, combined with a highly polished stainless steel reflector and a specially satinized plexi-glass cover. The result is a low energy, high performance lamp that delivers an even spread of emitted light. The unit sits flush to the ceiling, its visible aluminium edge and matt glass finish perfectly harmonizing with the surface of the concrete.

Light Well Siegen 

A circular reflecting pool subtly transforms a non-descript light well at WadrichSiegen’s HQ in Burbach, in Germany. Situated between the production area and the canteen, the artwork, which is configured within a golden section configuration, animates the space, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, revitalizing what was once a drab internal void. The residual area of the atrium is filled with fractured grey gravel, so contrasting with the smooth surface of the light installation.

The impact of the scheme draws upon three interrelated factors: the design’s materiality - polished stainless steel; the blue LED lighting, which indirectly illuminates the surface - the colour corresponding to the company’s corporate blue; and the amount of rain water that accumulates within the pool - the greater the volume of water, the greater the refraction of light.

During daylight the clouds are reflected in the surface; with the onset of night the LED lighting delivers an ethereal light, the surrounding glazing generating multiple reflections. Although only 14cm deep, the illuminated pool appears to have indefinable depth. Water and light orchestrate the work, resulting in a myriad of visual configurations, no two days ever being the same.
School Library, Frankfurt am Main

This new library facility for the historically protected Pestalozzi primary school in Frankfurt is inspired by the school’s philosophy and the building’s architectural quality. The project responds to the school’s innovative educational spirit while respecting the fabric of the existing building, designed in 1928 by the acclaimed architect Martin Elsaesser. The result: four stand alone pieces, two circular and two rectangular, in colours recognized for their ability to enhance and stimulate learning.

The designs have been well received, not only for their playfulness but also for their practicality. Each piece is comfortable, child-friendly and robust, comprising a wooden sub-structure covered with polyurethane foam, then coated with a patented rubberised skin, specified for its high durability.

In addition, the furniture's spatial flexibility has been well received by teachers and pupils alike: the large circular piece, for example, can either be the scene of an intimate ‘den’ atmosphere or part of a wider class activity - the children take the lead.

Light installation - Frankfurt Luminale 

This temporary artwork, developed for the Frankfurt Luminale, titled 'water lilies', comprises three underwater mobile light installations which respond to fluctuations in the water currents within the river Main. In calm conditions, the light is ethereal, serene and contemplative; in heavier waters, ephemeral, shimmering and flickering. Taken as a whole, the project presents an allegorical play on the sensitive dynamic between nature and technology.

The Frankfurt Luminale is one of the world’s longest running festivals of light. The event runs in parallel with the city’s Light + Building exhibition which regularly attracts international architects, designers and lighting engineers.
Sliding Gate, Herkules Machine Factory 

A 10.8m cantilevered sliding gate articulates the main entrance to the Herkules Industrial complex in Meuselwitz. Its bespoke construction was developed in close co-operation with the manufacturer. The finely engineered nature of the design, operating as it does on a counter-balancing system, reflects the precision and detailing which the Herkules group brings to its production of industrial roll grinders.

The gate is elegantly machined in a single sheet of stainless steel; special concealed fixings ensure its form and finish disseminate an elemental clarity. The company logo is embedded within the design, laser cut from a solid block of aluminum.

Laser technology is also utilized in the gate’s electronic closing procedure, any hindrance encountered causing it to stop. A secondary opening, with an integrated video surveillance and intercom, provides pedestrian access.