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Finding pictures in the clouds is one of the best exercises for both the eye and the soul. We allow ourselves to dream and transpose our own desires on the passing cloud formations, our vision simultaneously seeing and constructing. Space, both near and far, has always ignited the fantasies of artists and architects. They give form to our pipe dreams and bring them down to earth.
3deluxe also first turned to the sketchpad to visual its ideas for the Leonardo Glass Cube. The sketchpad is a collection of views of, in, and out of a glass building, which could just as well be the work of a genial glassblower. To build spaces they simulate natural growth processes, creating visible networks of communication. All the architectural elements are fluidly connected to one another without being playful; their organic forms make 3deluxe’s work unique.
The Leonardo Glass Cube construction brings together architecture, interior design, graphic design, and landscape design in a complex aesthetic unity. One fantasy is the Landstation, which perches like a gigantic white bird in a landscape crowned by a blue sky of cumulous clouds. This sketch could practically be a photograph; digital editing lends the drawing light and shadow, color and movement.
If Leonardo Glass Cube allows us essentially to be a part of the planning from the very beginning, Landstation seems an inexplicably beautiful object from the future. It could be built tomorrow, since even today's technology seems to put Utopia within our reach.
The interdisciplinary design group 3deluxe – a team of thirty creative minds headed by Dieter Brell, Peter Seipp, and Andreas and Stephan Lauhoff – counts among the most progressive delegates of the German design avant-garde. For over 15 years the internationally successful office out of Wiesbaden, Germany has given groundbreaking impulses to architecture, interior design, graphic and media design. 3deluxe garnered much acclaim in 2004 with its design for the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt. The noteworthy Corporate Architecture Leonardo Glass Cube was erected in Bad Driburg, Germany in 2007.
As an interdisciplinary team of currently 30 designers 3deluxe operates at the fluid divide between graphic-, interior- and media design, architecture and Pop culture. The Wiesbaden-based office was established in 1992. Drawing on creative synergy, it produces since then hybrids of two and three- dimensional design: graphic projects evolve a spatial effect while architectural designs are based on communication principles. Thus, they develop so-called ‘Multilayered Atmospheres’ – collages that encourage multiple sensory experiences and permit a host of possible interpretations. The objectives of 3deluxe are to expand an absolute understanding of space into something that is dynamic and process-like, to experiment with reality and its perception, and also with the relation between real and construed space.
As early as 1996, 3deluxe succeeded in revealing new spatial perspectives with a thematic production in Frankfurt. Touch and gesture-controlled interfaces were employed for multimedia spatial transformations. The principle of orchestrated interplay between designed environment and users that 3deluxe refers to as ‘Mutual Interplay’ was successfully realised several times between 1997 and 2001, for instance in trade fair scenarios, for MTV or for Autostadt GmbH. This visionary design approach embraced by 3deluxe was also highly respected in the art context: In 1999, the office was invited to design a multimedia transformed reading lounge for the exhibition “Children of Berlin” in the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York.
The jewellery store ‘D‘Fly’ likewise realised in New York is a striking example of the organic-looking formal language 3deluxe employs, and which derives from their artistic-metaphorical concept of ‘Genetic Architecture’. Inspired by a new scientific understanding that attempts to redefine the divide between biology and technology and questions the dualism of naturalness and artificiality 3deluxe have developed a formal style, which suggests vivacity and organic growth. Harnessing innovative technologies they often lend their design objects properties similar to those of living organisms.
Two major exhibition designs launched 3deluxe on the international scene: ‘Scape’ at Expo 2000 and ‘Cyberhelvetia’ at the Swiss Expo.02 were conceived as ‘Artificial Biotopes’ – fascinating worlds of experience whose real spaces were expanded and enriched using artificial and imaginary components. Often the term virtuality is simply reduced to the aspect of computer-generated simulations, not so with 3deluxe. Rather they understand virtual in its original sense as referring to the immaterial and construed, the potential. Nonetheless, computer-generated images and animations do feature prominently in their performative spatial concepts, as is impressively demonstrated by a visit to the CocoonClub, which opened in Frankfurt in 2004. Designed for Germany’s star DJ Sven Väth the club has two exclusive restaurants, and a dance floor surrounded by a 100 meter long 360° projection. The latter can be synchronised in time to suit the DJ set so as to create a constantly changing, immersive setting. Interactive 360° projections, individually programmable light installations and project-specific designed interfaces also featured between 2003 and 2007 in sophisticated exhibition designs for DaimlerChrysler or the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
In designing the Leonardo Glass Cube in 2007, 3deluxe established itself in the architecture sector. The first building implemented by 3deluxe, which received numerous prizes, has a transparent glass facade printed with graphically altered images of elements in the surrounding landscape merging with their mirrored reflections. They complement, in this particular instance in a totally analogue manner, the real space with a hyper-naturalistic, aesthetically heightened meta-level. Currently, the design team is working on new architecture projects and several projects in the area of interior-, graphic design and exhibition scenography.