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Red Bull Headquarter

Jos Pirkner

Red Bull Headquarter
By Caterina Testa -

Jos Pirkner has always used his bare hands to model clay moulds that are then given enhanced materiality and texture when cast in gold, silver and bronze.

Widely acclaimed in Europe and America, Pirkner - whose formative years were spent in his native Austria and the Netherlands - has now returned to the country of his birth to plan the new Red Bull headquarters in Fuschl am See. His brief: to give physical form to the Red Bull brand image, not only as a sculptor but also as the architect of the company’s new representative building. 

He has harnessed architecture, art and nature to express what the international corporation is all about, but at the same time to produce a programme that blends intimately with the local backdrop of Alpine valleys and villages.

The design of the buildings, the open space and sculptures are a very personal take on the Red Bull corporate identity. Volumes and shapes take their cue from Pirkner’s sculptural sense of space rather than from his background as an architect. By stepping outside the models and limits of the architectural approach, he has been able to sidestep regulatory constraints and technical requirements and design structures imbued with emotion and pathos. The first ideas took shape as chalk sketches on the ground. For a full eight years, Pirkner experimented with models, materials and hands-on study of the site. Circular forms and cone-shaped volumes are the recurrent features. Two cone shapes - stone and glass volcanoes, or small mountains rising from the water - are the focal elements, dictating the distribution and alignment of the other buildings, whose plan is either semi-circular or arch-shaped. The sinuous forms created by curved lines and rounded corners afford an overall fluidity, while the materials used all hark back to the surrounding landscape. Together they turn the individual volumes into a unified whole.

The combination of glass, steel and...

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