donderdag 30 juni 2011

Merck Serono Mediawaxwall.

Merck Serono Headquarters

In 2006, global pharmacy biotech giant Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, refurbished its Geneva, Switzerland headquarters. Chicago based architect Helmut Jahn’s concept integrated the already existing building complex into a steel/glass structure.

Jahn asked “ag4” to develop a concept that would stage and organically integrate its contextual focus as a biological-research center into a media façade. The concept, “Layers of Life”, combines such natural elements as water (a waterfall) and beeswax (1.4 tons, formed into 138 blocks) in the first layer, and 50 LED display screens, which are embedded into some of the wax modules, in the second layer.

"Ag4" commissioned Cologne-based artist Mic Enneper to create the beeswax blocks. After having heated the wax, he manually formed the large blocks using hot air and a spatula. The organic interplay of the first two layers with mirrored walls and media programming reflects the “complexity of biotechnology, a science that feeds off different sciences and disciplines.”

Images range from genetic-code symbols to Merck Serono employees working in worldwide laboratories and manufacturing facilities. The 432-sq.-yd. media façade extends across the main wall of a five story atrium that faces a stairway and surrounding buildings.

Media façades are creating high-end branding opportunities. “A media façade doesn’t necessarily tell stories as much as it creates an emotional connection to the building by its visual presence”, ag4’s co-founder Cristopher Kronhagel said. “Here, the message sometimes explains and sometimes adds to the mystery of what the client does.” Either way, the building will have the public’s rapt attention, which is the best you can ask a media message to do.

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