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Thu 8.10.

‘Frog Queen’ in Graz / Austria by SPLITTERWERK

Posted by Nora Schmidt on 08.10.2009 - Tagged as: , , ,

'Flog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, phot by Paul Ott

Icons 'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Paul Ott

With ‘Frog Queen’ SPLITTERWERK once more demonstrates their preference for visually effective surfaces and spatial experiences created by large scale images, textures and patterns they apply on architecture.

The Graz-based design collective was commissioned to design this headquarters building for PRISMA Engineering, a machine and motor technology company also located in Graz. The objective was to design a structure which could house the company’s various research and development programs, and selectively showcase the work to a varied range of often competing clientele. Thus the building design needed to accommodate both highend testing and presentation without jeopardizing the security and secrecy with which the work is developed.

'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Paul Ott

'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Paul Ott

Here is what the architects explain:

“The building form approximates a cube, measuring 18.125 x 18.125 x 17m, wrapped on all four elevations with a pixilated pattern of square panels. From a distance, these panels appear to be painted in a range of ten values of grey tone, together dematerializing the volume of the building against both the trees of the surrounding site and the clouds and sky. Thus the cubic building is at once monumental in its objecthood in the open landscape – scale-less and immaterial – and yet utterly non-iconographic in its overall form.”

Lobby 'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Paul Ott

Lobby 'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Paul Ott

“As is characteristic of their work, SPLITTERWERK was interested in developing a play between pictorial image and spatial experience. Working with the effects of dimension, distance, and time, the building’s skin was designed to generate shifting perceptions of the volume and texture. As one approaches the building, the cubic proportions of the volume become apparent, as does the finer grain of surface articulation on each panel, comprised not of a single grey tone but rather a tight grid of abstract pictorial figures. These figures might be interpreted as flowers, speaking to the surrounding fields, or gear wheels, suggestive of the highly secretive work happening inside the building. Each façade panel is itself nearly square, measuring 67 x 71.5-cm, and made of powder-coated aluminum, screen-printed with the various images. Integrated within this field of figures, deployed at the scale of both panel and building, windows and doors are similarly considered such that they essentially disappear within the composition of the façade.”

Interior with photo wallpaper, photo by Nikolaos Zachariadis

Interior with photo wallpaper, photo by Nikolaos Zachariadis

“At the interior, individual office spaces are wallpapered with images of the surrounding Eastern Styrian landscape, creating a conceptual tension between the interior of the building envelope (narrative and pictorial) and the visual effects of its exterior panels (abstract and spatial). In this sense, the decorative strategy for both interior and exterior is conceived with certain landscape sensibilities in mind; a visual context which is simultaneously pictorial in its framed references and affective in the atmosphere it produces.” (Text by Ben Pell)

'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Nikolaos Zachariadis

'Frog Queen' by SPLITTERWERK, photo by Nikolaos Zachariadis

Location: Graz, Steiermark, Austria

Projectteam: Irene Berto, Mark Blaschitz, Erika Brunnermayer, Marius

Ellwanger, Hannes Freiszmuth, Johann Grabner, Edith Hemmrich, Ute Himmelberg, Bernhard

Kargl, Benjamin Nejedly, Josef Roschitz, Maik Rost, Ingrid Somitsch, Nikolaos Zachariadis

Client: PRISMA Engineering Maschinen- und Motorentechnik GmbH, Dipl.-Ing.

Ernst Gschweitl

User: PRISMA Engineering Maschinen- und Motorentechnik GmbH

Project management: Ingenos ZT GmbH

Structural consultant: werkraum zt-gmbh, Peter Bauer, David Lemp

Building services consultant: Ing. Rudolf Sonnek GmbH

HVACR design: Guenter Grabner

Energy consultant: Dr. Tomberger ZT GesmbH, Hannes Veitsberger

Electrical design: Erich Watzke, Moskon & Busz GmbH, Rudolf Busz

to the SPLITTERWERK website

For technical support contact Alfred Giolai ‘Frog Queen’ in Graz / Austria by SPLITTERWERK