Kunst für Unternehmen

Clariant Innovation Center

New Building of the Clariant Innovation Center (CIC) - an Architectural Space becomes an Artistic Field of Action

In October 2013, Samuelis Baumgarte Art Consulting was commissioned to develop a concept for the artistic design of the Clariant Innovation Center (CIC). The office and laboratory building, realized by the renowned Düsseldorf architects Hentrich-Petschnigg und Partner (HPP), emerged from an architectural competition in 2010.

After a detailed analysis of the building, the atria in particular are suitable for integrating art. In the central and connecting cube, which also provides space for the entrance area and the lobby, a generous, dynamized room winds up above the alternately offset galleries. Two elliptical skylights direct the view into the sky and illuminate a four-dimensional communication space, which both supports the informal meeting of employees and forms the interface between Clariant and its external partners. Here, in the communication zones used by employees and visitors alike, art and architecture can work together.

In a first step, Samuelis Baumgarte Art Consulting presented seven artists at the end of November 2013 who would be predestined for an artistic examination of the present extraordinary architecture of the CIC and who would certainly fulfill Clariant's wishes for an equally extraordinary artistic highlight. Stephan Huber, Claudia Poeschmann, Felice Varini and Peter Zimmermann were finally invited to take part in the artist competition. In their work they all combine architectural, landscape, scientific and / or atmospheric themes and translate these critically reflected into conceptually and aesthetically highly interesting works. Above all, the dynamic of the central atria, which arises from the superimposition of architecture, landscape and the collective research and work of people, can be condensed with artistic interventions in the positions presented.

In January 2014, a site tour of the CIC took place with the four artists participating in the further competition. In addition to inspecting the architecture of the building and explaining Clariant's corporate philosophy, a detailed briefing was held with the artists about the requirements for the competition entries in order to ensure that the designs can be compared.

The artistic ideas developed as a result were presented to the jury in March 2014 in the form of drawings and computer simulations by the artists. The winner of the competition was Felice Varini, whose design “Hexagones évidés par les disques” was implemented in July 2014.

«Hexagones évidés par les disques»

Felice Varini regards the entire architectural space of the CIC as his field of action. He is the medium of his painting. The artist wanders through it, feels its architecture, its history, its function and defines the area of ​​his artistic intervention on the basis of these impressions. Varini first determines a point in the room, usually at eye level, from which the work of art should show itself in its total view. It serves as a starting point for the viewer to explore the work in its symbiosis with the architectural space. Here it appears as a tangible, three-dimensional object that was placed hanging in the room. But as soon as you step to the side, the form dissolves into innumerable, seemingly incoherently distributed color elements on almost all surfaces in the room - the illusion of the floating spatial object disintegrates. As you walk through the main atrium, you can see a game of perspectives that Felice Varini has mastered like no other and for which he is world famous.

A special feature of the work of art created for the CIC is the story that stands behind it. One of the main fields of activity of the specialty chemicals company Clariant is the manufacture of the pigment yellow. For this reason, the color used by Varini was specially mixed with a yellow pigment from the Clariant product range. The symbiosis of art and architecture is thus expanded and includes the company itself and its areas of activity at the Höchst location directly in the history of the work of art.

Impressions of the installation phase from June 30th. - 11.07.2014 can be found here

Felice Varini
«Hexagones évidés par les disques» Frankfurt on the Main 2014
Clariant Innovation Center (CIC), Frankfurt on the Main
Collection: Clariant
Photography: André Morin