Transparency and Grace
Established in 1864 as an iron foundry, the Eickhoff Group is a family company working in the mechanical engineering industry and the market leader for high performance machines in the mining industry, employing over 1,000 members of staff all over the world.
The Eickhoff GmbH administrative building (designed by Paul Bonatz), located alongside Hunscheidtstraße, forms the head-end structure behind which the production site is concealed. The entrance hall to the listed building from 1938/1939 was converted in the first construction stage.
The second construction phase saw the need to restructure the offices on the first floor of the administrative building and refurbish them to give them a more modern feel. Renowned Cologne architecture office Kaspar Kraemer architects BDA was contracted to plan and execute the project.
Historical rooms, such as the Hall of Ancestors and the corner office for Dr. Rheinländer, were brought up to date with the most advanced technology whilst being careful to maintain their original character.
In doing so, modern office surfaces full of transparency and grace were created for the management team and the closest associates. The use of glass, fine woods, fabrics, leather, linoleum and delicate wood-based materials allowed a pleasant working environment to emerge.
Not only do the glass division walls help to structure the space, but they also aid cable management, serve as a base for wall-mounted storage space and wall organisers and provide acoustic absorption. Conference rooms with the most up to date communication technology were also integrated into this historically protected framework.
We were fortunate enough to be invited to make our own contribution to this complex project, working alongside our furnishing partner Beck-Objekt and in close cooperation with the architects from Cologne. Numerous agreements on issues such as partition walls, electrical and media technology, acoustics, the room climate, materials and surfaces were professionally regulated and taken care of by the contracted planners. The final samples, which were precisely the designs that were wanted, assured the building contractors and the architects that planmöbel and Beck were the right partners for this unique project. In addition to fulfilling the client’s smaller wishes, an extraordinary edge design was developed for the HDF boards used in this project: chamfered, primed and coated with colourless hard wax, the centre of the 13 mm HDF material is visible and set in the exciting context of the fine wood surfaces in the surroundings without clashing with it. The sleek edge design was also used in combination with linoleum.
Isn’t it nice when something unique and new can emerge through minimisation?
Good things are simple…planmöbel.
(photos: Stefan Schilling, Cologne)
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