Die Angewandte | Studio Greg Lynn | Thesis Project | 2009


The topic of this diploma is a chocolate factory and flagship store for the company Niemetz, where the visitors can glimpse the confectionary manufacturing process. The firm was founded in the late 19th century, and the brand is based on the vibe of the monarchic coffeehouses. The idea is to develop a formal language drawing on neoclassical ornament and explore the different material conditions of chocolate that vary from liquid to solid and also have characteristic surface and structure qualities. As the molded chocolates are simultaneously surface and ornament, the project shows that ornament as frieze, cornice and relief can be not only decorative but structural and volumetric while keeping their qualities of softness and plasticity. The intention is to dissolve the ornamented graphical surface into a structural system of ornament.

The building becomes a machine itself as all the technical equipment is molded into the floor slabs and walls. The molded pockets also work on a larger scale. The public area that pushes through the building as an open volume is a set of large pockets. These split level pockets allow the visitors to observe the fabrication from above or be part of the machinery by seeing it from below.

The inclined interior walls are consistent with the façade diagrid in both angle and position. The structure is expressed as relief on the solid surface, where fabrication areas need controlled light conditions. The surface gradually opens up in the public areas to let natural light in. The façade thickens up around the openings to create sun shading.