ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Office Buildings
  4. Austria
  6. 2009
  7. Frog Queen / SPLITTERWERK


  • 01:00 - 28 October, 2009
Frog Queen / SPLITTERWERK, © Nikolaos Zachariadis
© Nikolaos Zachariadis

© Nikolaos Zachariadis © Nikolaos Zachariadis © Nikolaos Zachariadis © Nikolaos Zachariadis +24

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Architects

  • Project team

    Irene Berto, Mark Blaschitz, Erika Brunnermayer, Marius Ellwanger, Hannes Freiszmuth, Johann Grabner, Edith Hemmrich, Ute Himmelberg, Bernhard Kargl, Benjamin Nejedly, Josef Roschitz, Maik Rost, Ingrid Somitsch, Nikolaos Zachariadis
  • Project Management

    Ingenos ZT GmbH
  • Structural Consultant

    werkraum zt-gmbh, Peter Bauer, David Lemp
  • Electrical Design

    Erich Watzke, Moskon & Busz GmbH, Rudolf Busz
  • Client

    PRISMA Engineering Maschinen- und Motorentechnik GmbH
  • Building Services Consultant

    Ing. Rudolf Sonnek GmbH
  • Hvacr Design

    Guenter Grabner
  • Energy Consultant

    Dr. Tomberger ZT GesmbH, Hannes Veitsberger
  • Area

    1400.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

The Graz-based design collective SPLITTERWERK was commissioned to design this headquarters building for PRISMA Engineering, a machine and motor technology company also located in Graz. The objective was to design a structure which could house the company’s various research and development programs, and selectively showcase the work to a varied range of often competing clientele. Thus the building design needed to accommodate both high- end testing and presentation without jeopardizing the security and secrecy with which the work is developed.

© Nikolaos Zachariadis
© Nikolaos Zachariadis

The building form approximates a cube, measuring 18.125 x 18.125 x 17m, wrapped on all four elevations with a pixilated pattern of square panels. From a distance, these panels appear to be painted in a range of ten values of grey tone, together dematerializing the volume of the building against both the trees of the surrounding site and the clouds and sky. Thus the cubic building is at once monumental in its objecthood in the open landscape – scale-less and immaterial – and yet utterly non-iconographic in its overall form.

© Nikolaos Zachariadis
© Nikolaos Zachariadis

As is characteristic of their work, SPLITTERWERK was interested in developing a play between pictorial image and spatial experience. Working with the effects of dimension, distance, and time, the building’s skin was designed to generate shifting perceptions of the volume and texture. As one approaches the building, the cubic proportions of the volume become apparent, as does the finer grain of surface articulation on each panel, comprised not of a single grey tone but rather a tight grid of abstract pictorial figures. These figures might be interpreted as flowers, speaking to the surrounding fields, or gear wheels, suggestive of the highly secretive work happening inside the building. Each façade panel is itself nearly square, measuring 67 x 71.5-cm, and made of powder-coated aluminum, screen-printed with the various images. Integrated within this field of figures, deployed at the scale of both panel and building, windows and doors are similarly considered such that they essentially disappear within the composition of the façade.

© Nikolaos Zachariadis
© Nikolaos Zachariadis

At the interior, individual office spaces are wallpapered with images of the surrounding Eastern Styrian landscape, creating a conceptual tension between the interior of the building envelope (narrative and pictorial) and the visual effects of its exterior panels (abstract and spatial). In this sense, the decorative strategy for both interior and exterior is conceived with certain landscape sensibilities in mind; a visual context which is simultaneously pictorial in its framed references and affective in the atmosphere it produces.

© Nikolaos Zachariadis
© Nikolaos Zachariadis
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Frog Queen / SPLITTERWERK" 28 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Edouard Schmidt · August 16, 2012

Un siège social pas comme les autres #architecture #FrogQueen via @archdaily

demetmutman · December 17, 2010

Frog Queen / SPLITTERWERK | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Bruna Chaves · August 27, 2010
Satoshi SAKAMAKI · June 20, 2010


Adhitecture · January 20, 2010

"Fun"tastic idea..
cool artistic stuff..

Patricioicio · October 29, 2009

Active fronts ..... well for the audacity of lso architects ... curtain refreshes a bit not so many fronts of wall glaze....

Andrew Geber · October 29, 2009


camilo p · October 29, 2009

love it! simple and fun

Tuf-Pak · October 29, 2009

Seriously, I'm stunned that this is garnering some really negative comments. I doubt it was meant as anything terribly doesn't portend to be anything but a fun little building. It's somewhat like a modern Ledoux customs house.

Who can argue with fun?

the uninformed observer · October 29, 2009

An absolute winner. All stairs- would like to have seen that essential, constant transitional space- complete mirror cladding, yum.

Francisco · October 29, 2009

I love the interiors-exterior whit this landscape-walls. The pixelate i been seen before.

Forrest · October 29, 2009

A fairly attractive and dumb-in-a-good-way building. I don't think the resolution is quite right. A finer grain might make it more intricate.

Dan · October 29, 2009

im sorry for being so negative, but I think that this calls for it. What an awful awful building! I am amazed that we architects still exist. Nice section, but overall an awful building.

Luis · October 30, 2009 03:17 AM

"I am amazed that we architects still exist"???? Dan you must be "The Architect". Show as your work. We need to know what a real architect can do.

kc · October 29, 2009

stop the pixelation of architecture.....

Tuf-Pak · October 29, 2009 06:55 AM

Start the Pixelization of architecture!

nal · October 28, 2009

wonderful...not certain about how the wall images will do over the lifespan of the building, but seems like it would be a great place to work.

eb · October 28, 2009

what a fun project!

ErickF · October 28, 2009

I really love the pixeled kind of facades.

furqiii · October 28, 2009

i serious love it. it's amazing. the design has been very well interpreted from concept to physical form.


Comments are closed

Read comments
© Nikolaos Zachariadis