See also – TOP INTERIOR DESIGNERS | PHILIPP MAINZER
Buildings, interiors and products, communication and brand strategies: Ippolito Fleitz Group doesn’t think according to disciplines but develops integrated solutions that are a targeted part of a whole and yet also something very distinctive. With more than 180 national and international awards to its credit, including the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany in silver, several iF communication design awards in gold, red dot awards, ADC – Art Directors Club Nails, and many more, Ippolito Fleitz Group is one of Germany’s most successful design studios.
Biography: the man before the myth
Peter Ippolito and Gunter Fleitz set up their own business straight after graduating. They had this idea to look at things not only from an architect’s perspective. And they wanted to work in an interdisciplinary way. They initially set off down this path with two other partners. Then in 2002, the two of them founded Ippolito Fleitz Group. Their core business values remain the same today as they’ve always been: an interdisciplinary approach, lateral thinking, admitting ideas, no matter how fantastic, being identity architects.
G.Fleitz‘s interest in art and art history began at an early age. He was fortunate to travel around Europe a lot as a child and teenager. The architectural treasures he saw on his travels made a lasting impression and were a formative influence on him. He eventually realized this is the path he want to pursue.
While P. Ippolito tried out various things after graduating from high school. He worked as a wine merchant for a while and also on a construction site. Then practically overnight he decided to move to Paris, without really knowing what he wanted to do there. The freedom of not having to do something gave him time to explore the city for himself. He walked its streets, discovered its hidden places and drew what he saw. At some point he realized, he‘s going to be an architect.
Backgroung & Realizations: the projects
Ippolito Fleitz group are extremely present in their markets. This either means that they are frequently on-site, often with large project teams depending on the project. In some countries they have a permanent presence through local representatives. It’s important to them that these are always native speakers, so they can encounter their clients in their mother tongue and understand their mentality.
>>> Check all the projects
Gerber shopping mall
Wein & Wahrheit
The tailor shop
Phoenix Real Estate
Ennocean Headquaters Europe
Furniture and lightning
Pegasus Home Desk
The Most Iconic Projects
As the creators said the most identifying quality of the company is surprise. Surprise. They claim “We frequently succeed in creating surprising, memorable and yet precise images with a strong narrative power that are thought through to the tiniest detail and can be experienced as such.”
There are several iconic projects that could prove you they are not lying.
First one – retail project Palace of International Forums in Uzbekistan. The Palace of International Forums stands on Amir Timur Square in the very centre of Tashkent. The country’s most important representative building is designed as a platform for hosting acts of state, congresses, conferences and other cultural highlights.
Company’s task was to give the interior a contemporary form, while incorporating elements from traditional Uzbek architecture. The result is a cosmopolitan, communicative interior clothed in exclusive materials. Planar ornamentation, organic movement, crystals, precious metals and a fascinating interplay of artificial and natural light all become a source of inspiration.
Second one – hospitality project Der Spiegel canteen. In October 2011 the SPIEGEL Group, whose stable includes Germany’s most important news magazine Der SPIEGEL, moved into its new publishing house in Hamburg’s HafenCity development. This impressive structure on the Eriscusspitze, lapped by the waters of the River Elbe, was designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen. Ippolito Fleitz Group was commissioned to create a new employees’ canteen for the building. The legacy building’s famous canteen was designed in 1969 by Verner Panton and has since been placed under heritage protection. This inheritance represented a particular challenge.
Third one – hospitality project Not Guilty. The Swiss restaurant chain “not guilty” is the embodiment of honest and nutritious foods, imaginatively prepared into many different salads and snacks. The downtown Zurich location, opened in 2013, is now the 3rd location of the “not guilty” expansion to have opened. In each of these flagship locales, the philosophy of a “little heaven on Earth” is expressed in the store’s interior, inspiring those within to delight in the harmony of nature.
The long, open restaurant welcomes its guests with the familiar tones and textures of natural oak wood flooring combined with mixture of delicate white and pastel tones. The entrance focal point is the colorful salad bar, and a menu board designed like a kitchen hutch.
And the last, but not the least, hospitality project – Waku Waku Dammtor. WakuWaku has relaunched itself as a fast food restaurant and organic food store in one. The brand values ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ remain the clear focus of all communication.
The large, open façade provides an unrestricted view of a space, which is almost entirely encased in solid wood panelling, creating the ideal stage to display the products in the WakuWaku world. One side wall with floor-to-ceiling shelving integrates both display compartments and glass-fronted refrigerators.
A long central counter and parallel niches provide seating spots for all communicative requirements. Different shapes of chair break up the seating landscape and hark back to the original WakuWaku outlet – as do the chair legs, dipped in the WakuWaku corporate colour. The untreated wood dominating the space is synonymous with the chain’s ecological sustainability. The rough wooden surfaces contrast with the canopy of fine wire lamps and the intricate wall sketches created by Chris Rehberger using taut strings.
Interesting facts of Peter Ippolito and IF Group
Ippolito thinks that his strongest skills is Courage and impartiality. He is not put off by: “You’re not allowed to do it like that”. He says that you dare to do things that may seem completely crazy on rational appraisal. Which is why the company sticks 50,000 letters onto the wall of an exhibition stand or sign a contract that obligates them to produce the complete interior for an Uzbek state palace in only 5 months. It’s about giving credence to every thought and every idea. He also enjoy trying out new things all the time.
How company holds on its creativity?
They say you should keep your eyes open and look around yourself. Enter into discussion, admit other ways of thinking, be self-critical. The broad spectrum of their projects also keeps their curiosity keen and offers much scope for variety. This is why they also love working outside of Germany. It teaches them to deal with very different situations and to take other approaches on board. Working internationally also demands greater self-reflection in your dealings with the client and in your approach to the task in hand.
IF group is in charge of the Corporate Architecture of international brands such as Adidas or Walter Knoll there. But the founders of the company are particularly excited about the Chinese brands that they’re developing for local target groups. The company is responsible for the entire brand strategy for jewellery chains Dada and Keer – from spatial communication to visual merchandising. And it’s also designing new store concepts for spectacles manufacturer Bolon. These are all projects in which the group must first gain a really thorough understanding of the psychology of the local market. It is also working on a new shopping mall in Moscow, designing a global store concept for Swarovski, developing a large sports complex in Switzerland, supporting a new restaurant chain in Germany and working on various exciting residential projects.
Inspirational quotes by Peter Ippolito
For students and young designers Peter Ippolito have his favortite suggestion: “Just do it”.
Talent is a heritage
Peter Ippolito had many inspiring mentors. His parents taught him self-confidence and generosity. Working with Daniel Libeskind made him realize that architecture contains implicit meaning(s) and it was there that he saw the absolute in their work. Ben Nicholson in Chicago taught him about the simultaneity of the sacred and profane; the gift of curiosity and being open to quite disparate positions and approaches, of developing something from this starting point and never forgetting to retain a sense of humour.
See also – TOP INTERIOR DESIGNERS| KIRILL ISTOMIN
While Gunter Fleitz get his inspiration during his travels. When he was 15 years old, he met an emeritus professor quite by chance in London. He took to him and began to show him his city. After this first encounter, many subsequent visits ensued. They visited museums, he taught him about history, art history and art and always put them in the context of the country, politics and society. It was he who taught G.Fleitz to perceive the interconnectedness of things.
IF group’s works repeatedly won the IF DESIGN AWARD from Germany, GOOD DESIGN AWARD from Japan, RED DOT AWARD from Germany. Company thinks that winning these awards is a fantastic confirmation – for their designers and above all for their clients. Because it is their clients who are asked to provide a leap of faith in Company’s work. An independent award jury confirms and rewards this relationship of mutual trust.
>>> Check main rankings
MADEby-Ranking (June 2015)
W&V-Ranking Kommunikation im Raum (October 2014) – position 4
iF ranking 2014 – creative position 15
(highest placed architecture/interior design firm, second place as an independent design studio)
Page creative agencies 2014 – position 14
Baunetz – position 16 (June 2014)