“the wave” creates waves
Even from far away, the new sculpture in the office complex “die welle” draws attention to itself, inviting further exploration. It is an attraction that promotes the urban integration of the office complex within the adjacent inner city district.
The project remit was to redesign the external landscaped area in order to enhance the office complex „die welle“, located close to the Alter Oper in Frankfurt am Main. It was the name of the complex that sparked the initial idea for schneider+schumacher’s design. Until now, this label has found its echo in the curved façade of the offices. The architects decided to take this concept further and at the same time, to explore it in more depth: in the form of a three-dimensional wave that not only defines the space and attracts attention, but also by creating an inviting place where people will want to be, therefore revitalizing the area. “When we see something onto which we can project our own images, experiences and memories, it conjures up associations and emotions. It awakens our interest”, explains Prof. Michael Schumacher, who, together with Till Schneider, runs the architectural practice schneider+schumacher.
▼装置如浪潮般涌动，the installation looks like waves
From “diving arch” to “chill-out wave”
The resulting aluminum sculpture consists of six elements that flow, wave-like, through the entire length of space that runs between the main buildings. Three of these elements rise themselves away from the floor as arches of differing heights. Arriving from the opera plaza, a “diving arch”, some seven meters in height first appears and then apparently plunges below the surface, only to reappear in the form of a “glorious arch”, nearly eighteen meters high, which twists to form a semi-circular arena. A few meters on, the aluminum sculpture somersaults into a seven meter-high “joyful wave” –forming a roof over the elevator and stairs to the underground parking – before continuing more calmly as “flowing wave 1 and 2”, and then petering out in alast “chill-out wave”.
▼草图和模型，sketch and model
From office location to a district with urban flair
The building complex entitled “die welle” is located in Frankfurt’s Westend district. It was built from 1998-2003 and comprises three sections. The two main buildings adjoining this redesigned external landscaping are up to 13 store stall, some reaching a height of 50 meters. Despite its central location, the area is not much frequented. This project is not just targeted at the tenants and the neighborhood. It is hoped that the impressive sculpture will act as a magnet within the opera district and thus engender urban flair. Prof. Michael Schumacher comments: “It is quite remarkable that the owners are providing the city of Frankfurt with such a lively urban space.”
From sketch, via screen, to sculpture
In the design process, certain geometric rules had to be followed to allow the shapes of the arches and edges to be later manufactured. This meant employing a parametric system, to transform the initial sketch on paper into a geometric form, so that it could be more easily implemented in practice. Using a computer programme, this parametric design meant that the building elements could be optimised and then tested, to check how they affected the system as a whole. This choice of material fulfilled all the prerequisite criteria: alongside cost and maintenance for instance, manufacturing time – both in the factory and on site – as well as loading, since the sculpture was destined to be erected over an underground garage. The aluminium selected was extremely weather proof, and it is also employed to build ships and airplanes. Using the parametric system, the geometry could be applied to all these materials without difficulty.
▼从草图映射至雕塑，from sketch to sculpture via screen
100 tons of aluminum, two kilometers of welded seams
The first section of the whole sculpture – the “joyful wave” – was erected at the end of July 2015. This was followed, in mid-September, by the “glorious arch”. It took three days to assemble the three sections that make up this aluminum arch, the tallest of all. Since late 2015, passers-by can take pleasure in seeing the completed aluminum sculpture. The end result is an attractive urban space that spans the disciplines of architecture and art.
▼娱乐和集会的场所，a place for recreation and gathering
Client: AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets
Project architect: Michael Schumacher, Christian Simons
Project manager: Sherif Tony
Gross floor area: 5,800 m²
Good Design 17 2017年优秀建筑大奖
LEAF Awards 2016 2016年LEAF建筑奖
Iconic Awards 2016 2016标志建筑大奖