Germany’s most prestigious news magazine
has also hit architecture headlines.

DER SPIEGEL canteen

Hamburg / 2011

Germany’s most prestigious news magazine
has also hit architecture headlines.

DER SPIEGEL canteen

Hamburg / 2011

DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.

In October 2011 the SPIEGEL Group, whose stable includes Germany’s most important news magazine Der SPIEGEL, moved into its new publishing house in Hamburg’s HafenCity development. This impressive structure on the Eriscusspitze, lapped by the waters of the River Elbe, was designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen. Ippolito Fleitz Group was commissioned to create a new employees’ canteen for the building. The legacy building’s famous canteen was designed in 1969 by Verner Panton and has since been placed under heritage protection. This inheritance represented a particular challenge.

The employees’ canteen was and is a calling card of the SPIEGEL Group, reflecting its journalistic philosophy as much as its culture of dialogue – not least because of its prominent position in the building and its high visibility from the exterior. Nonetheless it is a space which looks inward, only accessible to SPIEGEL employees and their guests. That means it isn’t a “brand space” as such. The starting point for our deliberations was the characteristics of the space and of the building. The building distinguishes itself through its exposed position on the water and its modern architecture, expressed in the vertical interior space of the 14-storey atrium.

The floor plan of the canteen defines a large, polygonal space whose strong horizontal emphasis is further highlighted by the uninterrupted row of windows on two sides. Because the space had to be flexible, it was soon clear that the ceiling design would be the distinguishing moment of the canteen. Reflecting both this fact and the harbour location, we developed a matt shimmering ceiling which reflects light in much the same manner as water. It is formed of 4,230 circles made of micro-perforated satin-polished aluminium, laminated onto noise-absorbing supporting material and set at slight angles to each other. This means that the canteen’s natural light ambience reacts to its surroundings. During the day the ceiling is enlivened by water and light effects from the surrounding area. The ceiling also has functional advantages: the area above the ceiling plates is painted black, along with the mandatory technical fittings, rendering them invisible. Ceiling diffusers and sprinklers effectively disappear. In addition, the upper ceiling was configured to be noise-absorbent, complementing the acoustic properties of the micro-perforated plates.

The round, communicative tables are made from black coated steel frames which seem to grow from the floor in a graceful motion. Granite plates serve as table tops, their lasered surfaces working with the ceiling lights to create glare-free, brilliant light. The tables are placed within the space in three large groups in loose arrangements and so provide an organic counterpoint to the polygonal floor plan. Movement zones are thus clearly delineated. Three lines are set into the smooth, white terrazzo floor: they ensure tables don’t encroach on walkways. Along these lines four areas are arranged with removable, lightweight spatial filters composed of white, hanging rods. Large yellow light dishes support the zoning of the space just as the hanging lamps locate tables within the space.

Wood panelling lends a sense of depth to structural hubs. The whitewashed, varnished surfaces appear even deeper thanks to a vertical, wavy relief which gives a textile-like effect. Through a zigzagging glass façade a separate area can be formed at one end for discrete events or for use of the canteen late at night. A shoal of bright, hanging Plexiglas rods creates glare-free illumination and an intimate setting. The glass façade between this area and the canteen is formed of doubly reflective glass. So at times when both areas are in use, the separation is almost immaterial. However when the canteen is closed and thus darker, the façade appears half-mirrored, half-transparent. The employees’ canteen in the SPIEGEL Group’s new headquarters is a space that meets all functional demands while creating a strong visual impact to form a truly distinguishing space. In so doing it supports the mature culture of communication within the company and in a grand gesture transmits these values to the outside world.

Awards

  • 2015 / Best of Year Awards – Interior Design Magazine
    Best in 10: Cafeteria
  • 2013 / Iconic Awards
    Winner: Interior Design/Hospitality
  • 2012 / best architects award
    Award
  • 2012 / Restaurant & Bar Design Awards
    Shortlist
  • 2012 / Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    Nominee
  • 2012 / Deutscher Lichtdesign-Preis
    Winner Public Building Interiors
  • 2012 / Best of Year Awards – Interior Design Magazine
    Category Winner: Hospitality/Cafeteria
  • 2012 / iF communication design award
    Award
  • 2012 / German Design Award
    Special Mention
  • 2011 / IIDA Global Excellence Awards
    Honorable mention
  • 2011 / DDC Award Gute Gestaltung
    Silver Award
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.

A particular challenge
The legacy building’s famous canteen was designed in 1969 by Verner Panton and has since been placed under heritage protection.

DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects, Ceilings.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects, Floors.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.

Ceiling design as distinguishing moment
Reflecting the harbour location, we developed a matt shimmering ceiling which reflects light in much the same manner as water.

DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects, Colours.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.
DER SPIEGEL canteen, Hamburg. A project by Ippolito Fleitz Group – Identity Architects.

Floor plan

Client
  • Verlagsgruppe DER SPIEGEL
Location
  • Hamburg
    Ericusspitze 1
Status
  • Completed (2011)
Categories
Photography
  • Zooey Braun
Team
  • Christine Ackermann
  • Alexander Fehre
  • Gunter Fleitz
  • Roger Gasperlin
  • Tilla Goldberg
  • Katja Heinemann
  • Peter Ippolito
  • Christian Kirschenmann
  • Tim Lessmann
Partner
  • pfarré lighting design (Lighting Design)
Copyright
  • Ippolito Fleitz Group
Publications

Magazines