A transparent, participatory
Research and Innovation Centre
Innovation, movement, energy, emotion, enthusiasm and courage - the task that Clariant entrusted to HPP Architects was nothing less than the structural implementation of these six keywords. After just under three years of planning and construction, the Clariant Innovation Center (CIC) on the site of the Frankfurt-Höchst industrial park, which was completed in 2013, reflects in more than one respect the identity of the Swiss specialist chemicals company, which, after a restructuring phase, is consolidating its global research and development activities at this site.
Innovation, movement, energy, emotion, enthusiasm and courage
Transparency and communication served as creative models for the design. On the outside, the printed glass façade presents itself as a symbol of innovation and research, while the pigmentation is reminiscent of the manufacturing and processing sequences of the chemical company's products. The white façade, with seamless transitions from opaque to transparent, occupies a special place in the industrial and landscaped environment.
Innovative office and laboratory concept
On 4 storeys with a total of 34,600 square metres of gross floor space, the chemical research and development, which belongs to the Group Technology Services division, as well as application technology laboratories and technical marketing functions of several divisions are united in an open architectural office and laboratory concept. The two parts of the building on the public road contain the interconnected laboratory and evaluation areas. On the ground floor of the central part of the building there are the central special purpose units, while the office space is located on the upper floors.
An integrated working environment
The interaction and communication between employees is a central design principle of the interior areas. The office and laboratory areas on the façade sides as well as the central atria with communication islands provide an integrated working environment and allow vertical and horizontal visual references through glass partitions and the overall open room structure.
Transparent and communicative
In keeping with Clariant's restructuring, concentrating on the market and customers, the architectural concept of the new Clariant Innovation Centre also seeks to highlight their focus. The central point of the functional design brief was to create an open meeting centre in order to promote interaction with customers, universities and industry partners.
The design of one of the atria by the painter Felice Varini exemplifies the idea of interdisciplinary work and community. Like an installation artist, Varini uses architecture as a background and creates a connection between it and his work. Viewed from various angles, his geometric work appears in its entirety, from another perspective it fragments into its individual components.
On the outside, the building presents itself as a symbol of innovation and research. Inside, atria provide opportunities for close communication.
Werner Sübai, Senior Partner HPP