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At the beginning of the year, the Stylepark team visited WAGNER Living. The result was a great report by Anna Moldenhauer about the Wagner Design Lab.

Redefining Boundaries

In WAGNER Design Lab, architects Titus Bernhard and Andreas Weissenbach have recently realized a giant display window for Wagner. Thanks to Stefan Diez’s flexible “D2” system, its interior can be used flexibly for anything from a showroom to a work environment.

It all began with an idea: Peter Wagner and his brother Rainer, the third generation of a family to run a seating manufacturing business, together decided to spectacularly transform their parents’ house in the municipality of Langenneufnach deep in southern Germany. Until then, what had formerly been their family residence had been serving as a showroom for the company’s brand “Wagner Living” brand – and, as the finishing touch, an annex with a massive glass façade was planned, one on pillars and that would appear to hover high above the existing edifice. Once the experimental design was on the table, Peter Wagner did not waste any time in passing on the relevant order to the architects at Titus Bernhard.

““Commercial construction is often neglected although just as much dedication can be invested in such places and an equally conceptual approach taken to them as would be expected of residential construction, and this is something that Wagner recognized,” explains Bernhard. Together with his colleague Andreas Weissenbach Bernhard accepted the challenge and designed a rectangular annex on slender supports and using a steel-framed construction technique. A project of superlatives at all levels. Alongside the 160 tons of steel this remarkable piece of architecture used the world’s largest glass panels – four sheets of triple-insulated glass, each measuring 3.04 x 19.21 meters. Manufactured by local glass refiners sedak, who had already earned their spurs in international projects such as one with Norman Forster Architects for Apple. In fact, sedak even designed its own machinery in order to purpose-manufacture these giant panels.

The installation of the glass in itself demanded a great deal of skill and know-how from everybody involved. After all, “fitting seven tons of glass up on high was always going to be a challenge,” comments Bernhard.

Teamwork of superlatives


And because of the good teamwork, this bold undertaking did succeed, all four elements have since been fitted and they have now even proved their resilience. Besides their dimensions, something else that is fascinating about these glass panes is their filigree structure. “Each one consists of three individual sheets which are joined together by means of an edge bond, the spaces in between them are filled with inert gas. The thinnest pane is made of float glass which is eight millimeters in thickness,” explains Bernhard. The transparency of the façade, which manages without window frames, perfectly underscores the WAGNER Design Lab’s architecture, which is reduced to a bare minimum. As an ensemble and despite its considerable span lengths, the building sports an airy look, without detracting from the charm of its natural surroundings. Although it is sometimes invisible to the viewer it is pervaded by Wagner’s DNA, right down to its tiniest details: “The fixing points for the individual panes are chunks of volcanic metal which exactly correspond to the hinge for our Dondola systems; these will absorb any movement by the glass,” explains Wagner. In the same way that, in the “D1” family of chairs by designer Stefan Diez, this allows for movement in the chair’s fixed connection with its base so as to take the weight of the back, in the case of the WAGNER Design Lab it compensates for the impact of ambient environmental conditions on the panes of glass. Moreover, the curtain-wall facing, with its certified wood and mineral wool makes for pleasant indoor temperatures.