in the process of completing accalimed building projects around the globe, swiss architectural firm herzog & de meuron has created a growing number of design objects
these pieces — which include lamps, stools, and even coathangers — have now been made available to purchase online, developed either within the practice or with external producers. with the studio showing no signs of slowing down, this collection will continue to expand. below, the architects explain each of the available items in their own words.
the ‘X-hocker’ is assembled from four CNC cut wooden legs that interlock and cross at a single, central knot. its design originated from a research project of the herzog & de meuron digital technologies that examined the possibilities and limits of CNC precision cutting for traditional wood connections. it was further developed for a private home in switzerland and first used publicly in the pérez art museum in miami. the X-hocker is made in switzerland from FSC certified wood.
the ‘hocker’ started from a conversation on wood techniques and how to take away material from a solid block of wood by means of turning. its final shape is defined by three basic lathe operations.
the ‘corker’ is carved from two blocks of cork. the material starts as a recycled agglomerate of waste insulation cork. these granules are placed inside an autoclave; with heat and pressure, the cork granules expand and release cork’s natural resins, which act as a binder, and produces its rich, dark color. the two parts are then machined on a 5-axis CNC and joint together.
the trumpet-shaped lamp head is die-cast from aluminum or brass and serves as a cooler for the high-power LED illuminant. while the outside of the pendant lamp is left raw and shows traces of the machining process, the concave surface is highly polished.
‘TEA’ was designed as part of the tenerife espacio de las artes in 2008. the light passes a vertical light fiber and reflects and refracts inside the polycarbonate lamp head. the LED version of the lamp was developed in 2014.
the extruded aluminum profile of the ‘ACT’ pendant lamp serves as a cooler to diffuse the heat generated by two LEDs facing up and downwards. ACT was initially used in the actelion business center.
the body lamp is a single tubular steel structure, composed of a rigid lower part and a soft adjustable upper part. the stem is covered by a natural platinic silicone sheath and terminates with a conical shaped diffuser. ‘pipe’ was initially developed for headquarters of helvetia patria in st. gallen. a floor version of the lamp was used in the project elsässertor in basel.