OLYMPIC HOUSE - BERLIN
Built in time for the 1936 Berlin Olympics,its architect, Walther Wickop, responsible for German settlements in Poland, was no stranger to the idea that architecture can embody and impress an ideology on its residents. Of this the clients were deeply aware. Protected extensively as an historical monument, our many proposals for transformation were refused by the authorities. Thereupon our infiltration was covert, using furniture, fittings, colour and the transformation of how one uses and moves through spaces as architectural devices. We used resolutely modern materials and coatings in bright colours. We reused and bound unrelated existing pieces physically and conceptually introducing unexpected insertions in existing elements. A well-behaved music room is transformed into an Oriental lounge, a sitting room into a central workspace, translucent sideboards & shelving reveal their contents and family members pull their personal workspaces around on a lead. The Olympic House has at last rediscovered the playfulness that all games should inherently have.