Sep 10

Modular Design and Sustainability

Lately I’ve been doing some research on modular design and sustainability. There are various approaches and various interpretations of this topic. I’m not an expert in this domain, I’m only exploring this fascinating world like a newborn, learning and creating my own perception that I want to share with you. In a world of limited ressources sustainability will have to be implemented on large scale so that the human species can survive.

Sustainability is achieved through long-lasting and environmental friendly products, as Dieter Rams suggested in his famous “ten principles of good design”. In order to get to this level you have to design products that can be easily change in time, that can be adapted to new needs, that use as much as possible durable and environmental friendly materials. Products that can be adapted easily to new needs without much expenses and resources are, of course, not very friendly with our consumer market. Although some companies do take this concept into practice. The majority of them come from the IT area, where software / firmware updates are a usual thing. But what about other products, larger products, like for example an apartment or a home.

Modular Apartment

Here comes modularity into play. To be modular means to be independent from other parts. The elements of design are split up and assigned to modules according to an architecture or plan. Using this kind of thinking can be very useful for the constant evolution. Of course, the theory of modularity is more complex. To understand this concept better I will present you Mr. Gary Chang.


On a larger scale, this concept was used by Lumenhaus in the design of their concept house that emphasizes integrity and endurance through the choice of materials and components that are based on the essential requirements of environmental conservation and energy use and as well as the longevity of each product.

Overview of the Lumenhouse

The house is entirely modular, so the user has the option to add or remove rooms and entire floors. The absolute fascinating thing about this house is that it produces more energy that it uses. More about the Lumenhouse here. (flash required)

Jul 10

Cocoon Frankfurt Showcased

Cocoon, a place like never seen before, a place designed to take you on a journey through sound and space using state of the art video projections and high-fi sound system. Created from Sven Väth ideas, the whole complex is more like a portal that takes you through time.

Floor Plan Cocoon Club

The complex is situated a few km away from the center of Frankfurt in a cold concrete building that suggests nothing of the organic, fluid and alive feeling of the club. The project started way back in 2000 when the first ideas and concepts where defined. Only after 4 years of constant investment, hard work and a lot of passion, the club turned out to be a marvel of design and technology. Even today, Cocoon is still a benchmark in the clubbing scene worldwide.

Apart from the Cocoon Club itself, the complex features also two restaurants, the Club-Restaurant Micro, which is transformed at midnight in a Lounge-Club and the Bed-Restaurant Silk. Both of these serve as the playground for the 3-star chef Mario Lohninger.


The Club-Restaurant is a very special place to start the night. Due to its modular design, the space is very versatile and can be modified according to the needs. The room travels smoothly from a restaurant, to a lounge, to a bar and finally to a club with a DJ. The interior is warm, consisting of dark wood and grained bamboo surfaces combined with a matrix of strings which are hung from the ceiling. On these strings, a custom library of videos and various real time effects can be projected with the help of specially programmed software that masks out the free space between the strings, so that the light falls only on the strings, without blinding the visitors.

Cocoon Club Restaurant Micro

In Micro, the creativity and sensitivity is expressed in three different ways: through interior design, through music and through food. Mario Lohninger combines the elements of the traditional Austrian cuisine with different ingredients from around the world, obtaining a mix of European and Asian styles that are both light and easily digested.


The Bed-Restaurant is reserved only for noble people which know how to appreciate the Asian and ancient Greek/Roman culinary traditions. To enter this world the visitors have to go to an atmospheric reception room, where they exchange their shoes for textile footwear. This ritual inspired from the Asian culture emphasizes with the idea of a pure space. Materials like silk orchid and white leather are predominant. There are eight large-scale lying areas that are divided from each other by semi-transparent gauze curtains. The atmosphere is completed by Asian influenced sound that brings harmony in the soul of the visitor.
Here, Mario Lohninger, offers a new culinary adventure every single week to delight the visitors senses.

Cocoon Club Restaurant Silk

In Silk there is a special attraction called Aquarium which is a separate room that can be reserved for special events. This special room has an under-water style atmosphere and is surrounded by fascinating virtual life-forms that are driven only by a single projector.

The rest of Silk incorporates 170 neon lamps with pink-colored filters for lighting the gauze walls and as back-lighting for the reclining areas.

Cocoon Club

The Club is a dream come true for the world wide renowned DJ Sven Väth. His vision put into practice has made out of Cocoon Club one of the best clubs in the world. An important aspect for a club is the sound system. The Cocoon Club is equipped with one of the best sound systems in the world which provide somewhere up to 130 db. The Sound System that costs around 700.000 EURO has been designed by Steve Dash and his crew.

The Cocoon club’s concept is centered on an organic look. People from different backgrounds consider it as an avant-garde experimentation either in the transformation of space or in the sensorial perception offered.  The interior design is inspired by various biological elements.

Interior 360 Cocoon Club

The triangular shaped main space is surrounded by a 107 meters 360° permeable cell membrane wall that is woken up by 23 projectors tethered to 23 computers, all controlled from the DJ booth. The membrane wall looks like a living creature that can reassemble different materials, forms and shapes. The wall is penetrated by 13 green VIP resting spaces. They allow visual contact between the main dance floor and the quieter adjoining lounge. Additional illumination sources encompass automated theatrical/club luminaries, including spotlights and stroboscopes.

The control booth is fabricated of polystyrene panels and is cantilevered over the dance floor. The design looks very similar to the Starship Enterprise. From up there, the DJ and VJ can get a full view of the floor and change the mood of the whole club.

Cocoon all together

Cocoon is a masterpiece of modern architecture combined with state of the art technology. It’s fabulous from all points of view and offers an unique experience, both acoustic and visual.

Behind the design are the folks at 3deluxe and behind the projection setup the people from meso.