Spiegel Editorial Staff House in Hamburg by Verner Panton.
In January 1969 the Spiegel Publishing Company and Spiegel Editorial Staff entered in a new Hamburg Company Headquarters (the 3rd in its history). Located in the old town of Hamburg Spiegel Publishing House was one of Verner Panton’s most unique interior creations and one of the few that continue to exist today. Panton is considered one of Denmark’s most influential 20th-century furniture and interior designers. All the designs of this interior were his own; the colour scheme, lamps, textiles, wall claddings – only the furniture had to be imported from Knoll International. At that time Spiegel manager Hans Detlev Becker gave the order to fill the cold cover inside with warmth.
Unfortunately, the swimming pool for the employees in the basement (above) was completely destroyed in a fire and redesigned in the 1990’s. Swimming here would have been a psychedelic experience.
Exterior. The “decorative extravaganzas” as an amalgamation of geometry, color, murals, glass and glimmering light.
Above the hallway. The specially designed mirror lighting used on walls and ceilings was of major importance.
Above the work area.
Above the conference room – chairs by Eero Saarinen.
Above the waiting room.
Above and below the Spiegel canteen – wire chairs by Harry Bertoia.
The space resembled more like an avant-garde restaurant than a company canteen.
Before their renovation in summer, 1998 canteen and snack bar were put under conservation of monuments and historic buildings.
Above and below the snack bar.
Verner Panton (13 Feb 1926 – 5 Sept 1998) was a modest man who was crazy about design and has influenced many of today’s designers. Panton himself once said: “The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.” He spent little time in Denmark and many most of his celebrated works were realised abroad. He broke from the craft-based traditions of Scandinavian furniture-making and experimented with new materials and concept.
CONNECT is a series of chandeliers inspired by DIY and Bike punk culture combined with aesthetics rooted in the Victorian era created by LA based artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga. Her handmade bespoke pieces evoke a strong industrial look and invite the viewer to examine them up-close in order to come to grips with their fine details and the technical precision needed to put them together. Carolina managed to master the challenges faced by resilient materials such as bicycle chains and cassettes and created a stunning collection which also addresses universal themes around sustainability and the environment. She admits to having a strong connection with urban bicycle culture and hopes to inspire audiences to question their ideas on what is beautiful and functional.
Above and below: Connect 14a Model.
Carolina: “The idea for ‘The CONNECT Series’ began from seeing pots and pans hung from a makeshift pot rack which had been created from a used bicycle rim during a time that I was completely immersed in DIY and bike punk culture. In turn, it inspired me to make a mobile made from a bike rim, bike tube and bike gears”.
Above and below: Connect 8 Model.
Carolina: “Visual art has the unique quality of being able to relay information on a level that language alone cannot access. There’s an immediacy to this sensorial reaction that is very special. What I find pleasing about these bicycle chandeliers, especially when seen in person, is that they command attention. They trick the eye – most people usually confuse them with regular chandeliers but have a moment of surprise once they get closer. Most of us go about the world accepting ideas as immutable fact when in reality, things are much more dynamic and malleable”.
Above: Connect 4a Model.
Carolina:”The most challenging aspect is making each chandelier an approximate perfection despite the imperfect nature of the material. I’ve had to surrender to the rhythm of creation and accept regressing in order to progress”.
“I didn’t start out being interested in lighting but now I absolutely love it! The CONNECT Series is bound to bikes as a material so as to maintain the integrity of the concept. It can’t have motorcycle parts or anything else because then it’s not TCS, it is something else”.
Carolina: ” I’m sure that in the future I will be making other sculptures with lights in them as well as other proper lighting fixtures”.