Design GRAFT Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH
Location Köln, Germany

functionality, stability and beauty

Even the ancient Roman Vitruvius knew that three things are important in architecture: functionality, stability and beauty. The latter applies in particular to corporate buildings, which today are not only used as part of the corporate design, as a landmark and representative on the respective market, but also serve to create an attractive place to work that all employees and future employees enjoy arriving in the morning, checking in, working ambitiously on everyday tasks and occasionally offering a nice place for informal meetings with colleagues. The architectural language of the Trilux Light Campus by Graft is an ideal example of this.


At first glance, the box-shaped, compact building with its four storeys conveys concentration and functionality. Then the floor-to-ceiling windows, which appear slightly scaled due to their discreet slanting position and from which the full glazing of the upper floors emerges, catch the eye. Inspired by the aesthetics of spotlight reflectors, which are part of the product environment of the client, a lighting manufacturer, this façade pattern of glass and steel frames creates a perspective-changing interplay of light reflections, whereby this attractive beauty is skilfully continued in the interior. This applies above all to the upper floors, which house an essential part of the competence centre, namely the office and product exhibition areas. Flat glass walls were used for the outer walls of the centrally arranged transverse brace, in which the floor access as well as the service and sanitary cores are located, and the two-storey foyer and reception area, supplemented by a gallery on the first floor with a generous space for exhibitions and communal activities. Another meeting point is the open stairwell with auditorium, whose ceiling is illuminated by a sculptural light surface designed by GRAFT and TRILUX. A flowing floor plan characterises the four office floors. It integrates so-called smart working spaces with open communication zones and closed working areas.

"An extraordinary symbiosis of light and architecture: TRILUX's cubic headquarters in Cologne is a modern New Work building and a masterpiece of design language and lighting design."

What do you think are the key qualities of a good workplace?
Wolfram Putz: The modern workplace is not a fixed place. Rather, it is a choreographed sequence of places for the office community. Individual concentration, intentional communication or random group dialogue alternate. Movement and ergonomic intelligence are just as important as atmospheric and healthy material innovations. In addition, the home of your own desk is complemented by the flexibility of the home office with smart occupancy management.
Do you see any similarities in interior design for living and working?
Of course there are. The fact that work is spreading more into the living area of the home office means that the requirements overlap here. Sustainability has been a megatrend since the 2000s, but health aspects are becoming increasingly important today. Open, spacious floor plans (where possible) with more niche-like retreats can be found both in the office and at home. Those who can, no longer have a classic “white cube” environment, but are focussing on atmospheric density and sensory-rich worlds of experience.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
We are monitoring the market very closely. The furniture industry in particular has always been characterised by rapid shifts in trends. Not everything is sensible or necessary. But we are increasingly interested in new forms of flexibility. The next steps in the digitalisation processes will be transferred to rooms. If we take grey energy and climate change seriously, rooms and furniture need to be designed for long-term usage cycles instead of frequent refurbishments.

ClientTRILUX GmbH & Co. KG, Arnsberg
ArchitectsGRAFT Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH
SectorProduction industry
Project typeNew building
Gross floor area m22.794
Number of employees-
LightingTRILUX: Interior: Parelia, Sonnos, Much Moon, Bicult, B.Veo; Exterior: Constela, Cuvia
Workspace FurnitureVitra: u.a. Petit Repos, Visiona Stool, Rise Table, Grand Repos, Ad Hoc High Meeting Table, Workbay Meet, Workbay Focus, HAL Stool High
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
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