German Cultural Institute in London has commissioned Blauel Architects
to assist them in the renewal of their building on Exhibition Road
starting with the refurbishment on the Ground Floor. The collaboration
with the client established a need to increase the attraction and
transparency of the building. New finishes should reflect the institute's
approach to contemporary culture. A new foyer links the back of
the institute to the entrance area and opens the terrace overlooking
the adjacent park for the public. The reception was enlarged to
allow for a generous entrance area with a large window allowing
views into the new café.
stainless steel mesh covered wall guides to the back of the institute
and to the entrance of the auditorium. The new auditorium provides
a flexible space which can be used as a cinema, lecture theatre
and function room. A soft seamless rubber floor provides for good
acoustics whilst contrasting the hardness of the industrial timber
floor in the foyer. Sliding mesh panels work as sun screens in front
of the large windows. The café
and exhibition area was prepared to be taken over by a franchise.
A tubular steel ceiling runs along the centre of the space providing
easy maintenance access. Preparation works for the second phase
of the institute's refurbishment were included in the contract with
plans for a second auditorium in the basement.