The former German headquarters of reinsurer Swiss Re were designed by Hamburg-based architects Bothe Richter Teherani. The building, completed in 2001 and featuring a high-tech glass façade, comprises a core building and four wings. Its physical structure means that public areas and working areas are already separated.
To identify the building areas and thereby provide a means of orientation, large graphics have been applied directly to the glass façade. Consequently, parts of the guidance system perform additional tasks. A plant-like structure that changes with certain parameters helps to provide shade by filtering sunlight.
The sign elements exhibit the character of labels or stickers. Ethereal acrylic glass elements in lustrous colors with CNC-machined permanent room designations have become an integral part of the architecture, somewhat like calibration marks.
A subjective level of guidance has been incorporated for users and employees. When you are approaching a place that you are looking for in familiar surroundings, you relate less to objective information such as street signs. It is more likely for features such as a distinctive tree, a building or a billboard to act as subjective elements in recognition. As part of building orientation at the Swiss Re headquarters, distinct uses of colors, images and words, as well as artworks, perform this task.