Atelier Caracas’ banking workplace design is a love letter to Hans Hollein

by Editorial Team
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‘We’ve been into Hans Hollein for a couple of yr and a half,’ says Julio Kowalenko, of the latest fascination with Austrian post-modernist architect he has shared with Rodrigo Armas, accomplice and co-founder of Atelier Caracas. As Kowalenko continues, it’s clear that when he says ‘into’ he means ‘actually into’. Since 2015, this refreshingly boyish (however not boisterous) architect duo have been working at their joint studio within the advanced and multilayered Venezuelan capital that gave them its title. 

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

A Caracas banking workplace by Hans Hollein reimagined

Tackling robust environment by which to do a tricky job has knowledgeable their architectural analysis and references. At occasions these turn into obsessive, says Kawalenko: ‘We turned fixated on Hollein’s early work, on the Retti candle store particularly.’ How and why this small, Viennese store inside designed in 1966 influenced the entire refit of company workplaces atop a twenty story tower in Caracas’ monetary district in 2023, helps clarify the method and imaginative and prescient of this up-and-coming, younger pair. 

inside Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

‘We thought, wow, these [Hollein’s projects] are tiny, however they have been so, so good,’ continues Kowalenko, making his appreciation of the Austrian architect’s mania for, usually very symbolic, detailing. Referring to a different of Hollein’s smaller industrial tasks, his sensible 1979 journey company inside, once more in Vienna, Kowalenko illustrates how the connection between the parameters of scale and imaginative and prescient may be blurred. ‘Though as a younger graduate architect the impulse may drive you to design an opera home,’ he explains, ‘in actuality, you’ll be fortunate to design a shoe store.’ 

detail of light at Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

With a compact, self-contained sphere of potential intervention, one thing that characterises most of Atelier Caracas’ briefs, the power to maximise architectural expression via each ingredient is pivotal. ‘In Venezuela we’ve this angle: fuck the world, I need to be an influence ranger not an architect!’ laughs Kawalenko alluding to the playful rigour that each they and Hollein share.  

detail of bench at Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

In his 1968 manifesto, Hollein known as for an ‘absolute structure’, one which represents a ‘ritualistic expression of pure elemental will and of elegant purposelessness.’ For Kolawenko and Armas this gives up a radical practicality, and Hans Hollein is the toolbox which helps them assemble this encapsulated imaginative and prescient. 

stairs and planting at Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

The fabric selections additionally specific this ingenious streak and this undertaking, the reception foyer of a excessive standing monetary providers firm, the architects wished to emit a sense of luxurious in an unorthodox method. ‘Stainless-steel has been a unbelievable materials for us,’ says Armas, ‘and so has Continental rubber tubing made for pumping up tyres.’

staircase inside Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

Sure, the impression may really feel at occasions industrial, however each ingredient, from the metal and glass safety entrance to the leather-covered, cigar-like benches, is a one-off for this undertaking. Without delay artisanal and slick; ‘We have been pondering of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.’ 

Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

A elegant bunker of types, that is house the place Atelier Caracas has been allowed to run free with their very own aptitude for obsessive precision. ‘What’s luxurious?’ Kawalenko asks himself. ‘Luxurious is the perfection of element.’

ceiling and lighting detail at Atelier Caracas banking office design by Hans Hollein restored

(Picture credit score: Atelier Caracas)

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