February 15, 2016

Ikon.5 architects’ design for Schindler Elevator Corporation’s US Headquarters and New York office takes inspiration from the company’s Swiss heritage and highly-engineered products

In an age where branding is everything, corporations like Schindler Elevator find themselves continuously jockeying for recognition and sales in a sea of like-minded competitors. But rather than bow to the crowd and the trends of the day, Schindler has opted instead to stake its future on its past- a remarkable 140 year history designing innovative transportation management systems, namely elevators, escalators that have clearly put the storied company ahead of its competition. Founded in 1874 with a global staff of 56,000 employees working in100 countries, Schindler’s claim to fame and hence its tagline is “moving 1 billion people per day safely and efficiently.

With movement and the colors of the Swiss flag as points of departure, ikon.5 created two bespoke facilities for Schindler that celebrate its heritage and products.

Schindler’s New York office, located on Manhattan’s Far West Side overlooking the Hudson River, creates an identifiable workplace for 100 employees. With a modest budget and an aggressive schedule, the architects packed a lot of design into a small space, sparsely appointing it with a curator’s eye, creating a distinctive environment of slipping walls, ceilings, floors and columns in a three-dimensional composition, that expresses the service and the products that Schindler provides.

For Schindler’s North American operations, ikon.5 transformed a 1970s office building into a distinctive U.S. headquarters using light and color to convey movement and a sense of continuous space. Inspired by contemporary artists working with light and color, the design creates a series of ‘mise en scenes’ that abstractly explore movement and displacement. Simple fluorescent light arches and red-Swiss flag colored surfaces create an unadorned environment that is dynamic and minimal and in keeping with Schindler’s minimalist and purist design aesthetic.

Both facilities are sustainably designed to LEED Silver standards.