Architektei Mey: Treat yourself to an architective
Text: Silke Henkele | Photos © Architektei Mey
A rchitectural designs have a lot to tell,and can achieve so many things. We take a look at one of the creators of some particularly exciting designs.
“I have been fascinated by buildings and building processes from a very early age. So when I followed my vocation and started studying architecture in Aachen, I had already gained a lot of experiences from building tree houses and working as a bricklayer and concrete worker. Travelling the world for a year, I finally ended up at the Staedelschule, an Art Academy in Frankfurt. After working in London as a lecturer, I established my first architectural office,” recalls Bernd Mey, managing director and owner of Frankfurt-based architektei mey.
Being an architective
‘Architective’, a word created by Mey himself, pretty well expresses his creative approach: “I consider myself and my team as architectives who, similar to a detective, are looking for the right solution to our projects. Always alert, always checking the environment for possible hints or ideas. And finally coming up with a vision that perfectly matches the situation at hand.”
An architective’s approach
Mey, who describes his architectives’ design as “clear, straightforward and marked by natural nonchalance”, clearly follows his own rules: “Our plans are open and transparent. Transitions between in- and outside are fluent. We are generous in gesture, but strict when it comes to function. And, of course, our designs are never boring, never the same. As true architectives, we always look for the best architectural solutions and approaches.”
So, what else is there, apart from iconic designs, that Mey’s clients appreciate in his and his team’s work? “We are creative and we are persistent. Let me explain this with an example. Take an orange. Each architect has one, and each architect is able to squeeze them. Some get really sweet juice, others aren’t as lucky. Well, we know where the best fruits grow, those that match our clients’ tastes best. We are architectives and we go ahead and find out what our client really, really wants–maybe he even needs an apple! So instead of investing all his money in oranges, we build a tasty apple for less money. From the money the client saved he can get his extra personal orange, the thing his heart beats for: a yacht, for example.”
Thoroughness and precision
Apart from picking oranges and wondering about apples, architektei mey designs are marked by precision, competitiveness and thorough planning: “As we generate many of our projects from competitions, we need to be really good. Particularly as we are in competition with much larger offices. In the end, these anonymous contests are one of the best touchstones imaginable for the quality of our work. We work as a team and we build many working drafts from our architectural plans – be it from cardboard, wood or with the help of our 3D-printer. In the end, we work at our designs as long as it takes until they are perfect. And if there is just the slightest hint of doubt whether a solution really is the right solution, we start again. What is more, we stay true to our cost estimations. The number we give you at the beginning of a project is the number you will see on your bills.”
Architectural visions of an architective
With a lot of creativity, esteem and vision, Mey’s architectural poloffice is firmly established in the world of architecture. Designs like the legendary underground techno-club U60311, designed in cooperation with Christian Pantzer, whose facade is made from samples from ground drillings and which has won an incredible number of seven design awards, are truly iconic. Impressive too, is the Main Tower Restaurant Bar with its thermoactive bar, 200 metres above the city. They have decidedly coined the city’s architectural landscape. “While we have realised many truly exceptional projects like the mentioned U60311 or the Main Tower Restaurant Bar, I quite fondly like to think back on the first school building we planned. For a school in Kassel, we created space for an abundance of flora over two floors,and planted a tree in the middle of a school building. A truly memorable project,” concludes Mey.
architektei mey – the right choice for truly yummy oranges and visionary designs.
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