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Category: International Designer   Exhibitor: Walter Knoll AG & Co. KG  Design: Ippolito Fleitz Group GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany, 49-711-993392-330, www.ifgroup.org   Fabrication: Werk33 GmbH & Co. KG, Enzweihingen, Germany, 49-7042-130626-0, www.werk33.com  Show: Orgatec, 2014  Budget: $250,000 – $499,000  Size: 56-by-135 feet

PHOTOS: ZOOEY BRAUN
Force of Nature
By Lena Hewitt

In this digital age of smartphones, tablets, 4G, and Wi-Fi, work is no longer confined to the carpeted walls of a cubicle. To bring this idea to life at Orgatec, Walter Knoll AG & Co. KG sought to combine the organic nature of, well, nature, with the modern shapes, polished materials, and bright colors of its newest line of high-end office furniture.

Designed by Ippolito Fleitz Group GmbH, the 7,560-square-foot space was one part rainforest, one part chic office space, and all parts "sophisticated, refined, and sublime" according to Exhibit Design Awards judges. "We wanted to exploit the contrast between the freedom, freshness, and wildness of the jungle and the often dry, boring world of office interiors," said Peter Ippolito, co-owner of Ippolito Fleitz.

That juxtaposition was introduced at the exhibit's main entrance. Mod pieces called Seating Stones were arranged against a backdrop of plants nestled behind black carbon-fiber mesh curtains hanging from overhead truss. While the foliage remained a consistent emerald tone, the Seating Stones' pops of lime green, yellow, magenta, and orange punctuated the space.

In contrast to the organic forms of the greenery and furniture, a series of white, hollow wooden lamellas were configured at an angle across portions of the ceiling, while black lamellas stood perpendicular to the black, high-pressure laminate flooring. The slats provided definition to the different seating arrangements throughout the exhibit, which were positioned atop Bolon flooring of varying shades and textures for added delineation.

The seemingly disparate parts came together to form a complete, awe-inspiring whole. As Leo Tolstoy once said, "In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." When it comes to this exhibit, truer words were never spoken. E


Color Block
Designers painted wooden panels with bright colors such as canary yellow, robin's-egg blue, and coral to contrast the uniform coloration of the rainforest plants. The cheery tones peeked through the black carbon-fiber mesh curtains and live foliage, rewarding attendees with visual delights as they moved further into the space.









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