Spiegel editorial staff house, 1969

Some know the canteen of the today’s Spiegel Editorial Staff House from films, music videos or at least from photos. The least ones, however, know that it is the creation work of Verner Panton. In January, 1969 the Spiegel publishing company and Spiegel editorial staff entered in a new Hamburg company headquarters. The local architect Werner Kallmorgen had planned the glass high rise with his twelve floors and built it up corner Ost-West-Straße/Brandstwiete. For the interior arrangement of the building the choice struck on Verner Panton. At that time Spiegel-publishing company manager Hans Detlev Becker gave the order to fill the cold cover inside with warmth. Verner Panton realised his probably biggest complete work.

Company canteen in restaurant apparel

With the interior arrangement the Dane mainly used own draughts. Nevertheless, with the pieces of furniture, he had been obliged to integrate products of the company Knoll International. Till the tenth floor the halls were stroked colorfully – every floor in another tone of the colour palette from orange, red and violet up to blue. Tone in tone to covers and walls carpet was selected and was laid out. When it was getting dark and the office doors were open, a unique play of colours could be observed from the outside. Also the canteen was (and it is visible till this day) from the outside: The countless orange Flowerpot-lights which were taken down in different lengths. Metal twisted chairs with red hassocks. Round tables with orange, pink and red spotted tabletops. Walls and covers completely dresses up with lined up, square Spiegel lights which also can be found in the entrance hall and swimming-pool. The space reminded rather in an avant-garde restaurant than in a company canteen.

Canteen and snack bar as a monument

Before their renovation in summer, 1998 canteen and snack bar were put under conservation of monuments and historic buildings. The owner of the Spiegel building, the Robert Vogel GmbH & Co. KG, got with it the condition to hold upright the original state. Fortunately. While other interior arrangements like those of the Gruner & Jahr publishing house, Restaurant Varna or Visiona 0 do not exist any more, this unique document of Panton’s work was received thanks to the office for conservation of monuments and historic buildings Hamburg.

Loss of the colour

The other interior of the offices, conference rooms, waiting areas with green perfectly circular Flokati rugs to Fun Shell-pendulum lights and with green material dressed up foamed plastic stalactites, as well as the wall disguising and ceiling panels from specially for this work developed so-called Spiegel lights in entrance hall and swimming-pool is not received any more. While the swimming-pool was destroyed by a fire, the entrance hall was dipped in grey granite in the 90s and most of the colorfully formed editorial staff halls fast again changed to neutral white, the eighth floor held the last bastion till the beginning of 2005. Then the department for foreign countries was also renovated and at least Azure had to give way . Once beeing a publishing house and editorial staff house, the high rise accommodated only the editorial staff till September 2011.

Text by Bianca KILLMANN
The text is protected by copyright.

Design objects in “Spiegel editorial staff house” style.

&Tradition - Flowerpot VP1 Pendant light

Verpan - VP GLOBE Pendant light

Verpan - Seashell lamp Pendant light

  • Project
  • Builder
  • Realization in
  • Interior design
  • Spiegel editorial staff house, Hamburg
  • Spiegel publishing house
  • 1969
  • Verner Panton