Creating experiences: a new way of designing architecture
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Creating experiences: a new way of designing architecture

Creating experiences: a new way of designing architecture
By Editorial Staff -

There are numerous approaches that architects can take in their work. They can prioritize the aesthetic aspect, and therefore focus more on forms and volumes. Or they can focus on the functions that the building will need to perform, and design the structure accordingly. And so on. But increasingly, architects are focusing on designing buildings that are not simply beautiful or functional, but can also create sensorial experiences aimed at intriguing visitors.

Some examples of buildings that offer this kind of experience were demonstrated by the speakers THE PLAN invited to participate in the online event Perspective Virtual Northern Europe.

Andreas Schmitzer, founding partner of A01 Architects, for example, discussed the spectacular Danube Flats tower, under construction in Vienna. Patrick Stremler, managing partner of Dietrich | Untertrifaller, looked at the fascinating Dornbrin library, with its eight thousand pottery books. And Sabrina Voecks, partner and creative directive of JOI-Design, showcased the elegant interior design of the Fraser Suites project in Hamburg.

All these examples highlighted the importance of a design vision that extends from the choice of materials all the way through to the arrangement of furniture, spatial composition, and lighting.

In view of the success of the event, both in terms of content and participation, we’ll be reexamining this inexhaustible topic during Perspective Virtual UK and North America, to which we’re inviting some well-known international architectural firms, including Behnisch Architekten and FXCollaborative.

Behnisch Architekten

Behnisch Architekten’s work is marked by a holistic approach that takes every aspect of the project into account. The firm will be hosting a panel discussion entitled Creating Experiences at the next Perspective Virtual UK and North America.

The architecture of Behnisch Architekten is the result of a painstaking functional, technological, and aesthetic analysis of every project aimed at maximizing the user experience and respecting the environment.


adidas World of Sports Arena is a mixed-use project that successfully responds to many needs in a single structure. Twenty years in the making, the adidas World of Sport campus was completed in 2019 in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The site includes an artificial lake, restaurant, offices, gym, conference room, and parking. Designed by Behnisch Architekten, the Arena is the campus’s office and reception building. Providing 560 thousand square feet (52,000 m2) of floor space and accommodating around two thousand employees, this building embodies the identity of the entire development.

Its non-traditional architecture offers a particularly flexible structure that can be readily adapted to constantly changing needs. The ground level, hidden behind an artificial hill and comprising a central atrium, a waiting room, a conference area, and a bistro, forms the architectural core of the building, while still being separate from the office spaces on the three upper floors.

The Karl Miller Center, also designed by Behnisch Architekten, is another project that aims to make visiting the building an experience. Located in downtown Portland, the most populous city in Oregon, the Karl Miller Center is the modern home to Portland State University’s School of Business. Although not large, the project site is in a lively, densely populated city area with tree-lined streets and public places. These features make the Karl Miller Center a strategic place to reassert PSU’s presence in the city.

Taking an innovative approach, Behnisch Architekten was responsible for both the design of the new center and the renovation of the adjacent complex. The aim was to create better teaching and meeting spaces, areas for informal study, and offices. The new pavilion structure, which increases the total area by some 43 thousand square feet (4,000 m2), was grafted onto the existing structure via a low-emissivity transparent glass corridor, which defines the atrium – a public space crossed by bridges, ramps, and stairs that lets both structures receive plenty of direct sunlight.


FXCollaborative, is another important architectural firm that will participate in the panel discussion Creating Experiences at the next Perspective Virtual UK and North America. The firm has completed many projects that interpret place through an architectural approach that can create new experiences every time a visitor steps inside.

A good example is the recently completed Statue of Liberty Museum. The building offers every visitor the chance to participate in the message of freedom that the statue inspires. Opened to the public on May 16, 2019, the new 26,000 square foot (2400 m2) museum achieved the architect’s two goals: to create a building that can offer a quality museum experience to all visitors and to extend the open space around the island.

Located at the opposite end of the island from Lady Liberty herself, the museum is a kind of garden pavilion, designed to welcome the 4.3 million annual visitors of all ages and backgrounds to the island, and to spread the story of the Statue of Liberty, including its creation and meaning. Celebrating the idea of access for all, the museum is educational, cultural, contextual, and inspirational. It conveys the statue’s story and message through an understated design that respects both the site and the monument.

The design approach followed by FXCollaborative is outlined in the documentary by THE PLAN The Architects Series, a Documentary on FXCollaborative. In the documentary, we visit the studio to learn about its architecture and way of working.

We believe in the power of intelligence, intuition, and interconnection to design a better world. We build places that resonate and endure. We design with deep respect for our planet’s resources. We celebrate our clients’ unique cultures. We embrace diversity and promote social responsibility.

Our holistic approach integrates client aspirations, an urban sensibility, and a celebration of the craft of building. Our work ranges from the scale of individual buildings and interiors – office towers, multi-family residences, cultural facilities, workplaces, K-12 and higher-education institutions – to the city as a whole, addressing infrastructure and transportation.

We’ll be talking about this and much more during the panel discussion Creating Experiences, to be held as part of the Perspective Virtual UK and North America forum, scheduled for June 29 and 30, 2021.

Read more about all the scheduled panel discussions and keep up-to-date by following us on social media. We’ll soon be revealing the names of the speakers and much more.


All credits relating to photos and render refer to individual articles.

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