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'Spot-on' for a striking shop design:inspired and well-rehearsed – portrait of a Frankfurt design team

Lüdenscheid, July 2020. "Light, colours and materials - everything has to come together otherwise it won't work!" The invitingly colourful shop in the centre of Frankfurt, designed by Paul Bauer and Oskar Melzer for the real estate company ZIEGERT Knight Frank is co-ordinated in terms of functional clarity down to its last detail. "We wanted to make a statement," says architect Paul Bauer about the contemporary, loose and casual aesthetics of the real estate office. ERCO presents the two designers in the "Spot-on" series, a pair that has been working well together for several years and who understand the impact of rooms, colour and light as intuitively as they do creative reinvention.

DJ, restaurant owner and designer

Oskar Melzer wouldn't call himself an interior designer. Perhaps more of a visionary or creative director. He began his career at the Munich Film Academy. As a DJ, gallery owner and gastronome he ran well-known restaurants and trendy clubs in Berlin such as the Weekend and the Louis Pretty delicatessen. He usually designed the interiors with Paul Bauer, who since then has set up his own studio in Frankfurt. With a modern, purist and well thought-out vocabulary of design he now works in the fields of scenography, interiors, exhibition architecture and furniture design.

A creative ping-pong

The co-operation between the two was formed over 15 years ago at the Berlin art fair "abc" with a pop-up catering bar. "Our work together is a creative ping-pong," says Paul Bauer. It's also about constantly filtering good ideas that the two of them throw at each other in their numerous projects. "In the meantime I have the most fun designing rooms," says Melzer, who has the talent not only to develop ideas but also to realise them creatively.
Precise perfection

The new 'ZIEGERT Knight Frank' office spaces in Frankfurt, called Shop for short by the real estate company because it is also used as a showroom, has risen like a phoenix from the ashes. The shop was a 'complete dump', attests Melzer. "Our idea here was to spatially separate the 70m2 area and divide it into two entirely separate atmospheric zones." The precise interplay of light, colour and perfection creates a functionally coherent and aesthetically attractive whole.

Light and colour

"Good lighting was decisive for us because the perception of the colours depends on it", explains Paul Bauer. The front area and entrance zone, with an open, laid-back atmosphere, is determined by the warm reddish orange of the seating. The entrance is uniformly illuminated by twelve ERCO Pollux spotlights as if in a gallery, and a relaxed lounge-like island of light is created around the sofas. While the track remains unobtrusively discreet in the tone of the ceiling colour, the black housings of the Pollux spotlights set specific accents.

A visual calm

On the other hand, the ambience in the rear area of the shop is, in contrast, subdued. Oskar Melzer calls this "visual calm". The built-in cabinets and fronts of the panelled walls are in a striking turquoise blue, the complementary colour to the reddish orange of the entrance. When it came to the lighting, a high level of flexibility was important to the two designers. Three plain black desks arranged in a row are individually illuminated by Skim downlights for track (16W LED). These lighting tools combine the flexibility of spotlights with the visual comfort, efficiency and simplicity of downlights - thus providing the ideal lighting solution for flexible office layouts. Two further Skim track downlights (12W LED) with wide flood (approx. 50°) distribution above the conference table, create a pleasant working atmosphere.

Poetry in precision

Paul Bauer justifies his decision in favour of ERCO with the high quality of its luminaires and the company's reliably good support. "ZIEGERT Knight Frank clients," according to Oskar Melzer, "should ultimately think: they also know something about interior design here." With its precise implementation, their design of the new real estate shop should not express an anonymous form of office aesthetics but rather an almost homely sense of poetry. And "feeling good", adds Melzer, is everything.

The "Spot-on" series continues to provide a media stage for unusual projects and interesting new philosophies with lighting. Modern approaches to lighting design and creative lighting concepts from young designers are presented at regular intervals - whether small or large projects or lighting for indoors or outdoors.

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Lighting Design: Studio Paul Bauer, Frankfurt, Oskar Melzer, Frankfurt
Photography: Lukas Palik, Düsseldorf
Location: Frankfurt
Country: Germany

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About ERCO

The ERCO Light Factory in Lüdenscheid is a leading international specialist in architectural lighting using LED technology. The family business, founded in 1934, now operates as a global player with over 60 subsidiaries, branches and agencies in over 40 countries worldwide. Since 2015 ERCO's portfolio has been 100% LED. Inspired by "light digital" as its leitmotif, ERCO in Lüdenscheid develops, designs and produces digital luminaires with focus on photometrics, electronics and design. Working closely with architects, lighting designers and engineers, ERCO develops lighting tools used primarily for applications in the following fields: Work, Shop, Culture, Community, Hospitality, Living, Public and Contemplation. ERCO understands digital light as the fourth dimension of architecture - providing highly precise and efficient lighting solutions to support creative designers in turning their visions into reality.
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