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Antiquariat of Venator & Hanstein

Project status: Completed 2000
Client: Venator & Hanstein
Team: smo architektur
Area: 65 m2
Cost: 70.000 €

The design concept of the new facilities of the Antiquariat of Venator & Hanstein was developed from the „book“ principle. Yet not the spectacular, artistic or technical coherency like callegraphie or print are of interest, but the principle „Book“ rather concentrates the essential features and characteristics of the book as a materialistic composition of paper, ink and binder.
„Title and content“, that´s how both function departments, reception and reference library, stand in relation to each other. An offset of half a meter spatially divides the sparse, high and light entrance area from the dense and concentrated working space.
The entrance area is only furnished with one table, four chairs and one bureau.
The reference library consists of five parallel shelf units named in the following „Units“. In the units there are one or two working places, as well as integrated special features like tea kitchens, switching cabinets and wardrobes.
Three materials were used: bright-yellow maple for shelves and floors, bordeaux coloured skin for the working tables and black lacquer for the embellishment of the baseboards and window areas.
The voids, compartments between the units, are connected through cuts in such a way, that all employees can access the reference library and each particular special features comfortably. The systematic placement of the individual functions promotes communication among employees. A particularity of the workplaces, are the reflecting walls, informing the employees about what is happening „behind their backs“.