The newly renovated lecture hall of the MAKK in Cologne was bursting at the seams. Approximately 250 guests followed the lecture given by Nathalie de Vries as part of the VORDENKER series initiated by the KAP Forum and Carpet Concept, specialist for acoustic rooms and sustainable carpets. Under the title of "Hybrid/Experiments", the co-founder of MVRDV demonstrated the potential of multifunctional buildings and planning.

"Is the city a laboratory?" asked the architect rhetorically – and immediately gave the answer: "Urban spaces must condense, optimize, intermingle. We want a better, more livable city." This was also a rejection of Adenauer's election campaign slogan in the 1950s – no experiments. It is quite astonishing that the outgoing professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (she is moving to Delft) could not find any examples of hybrid and multifunctional buildings in Germany – nor could her students.


Nathalie de Vries gave a one-hour lecture on the significance of hybrids in her own work. But what is a hybrid? It is about new, networked thinking, conceptual and free of barriers. There could be a third room, built for private use and yet completely public, a house so openly designed for very different users with very individual needs. This sounded a bit like postmodern theory, similar to what Wolfgang Welsch advocated in his "Perspektiven für das Design der Zukunft" ("Perspectives for the Design of the Future") published in 1990: "The classic-modern maxims of expression or transparency are losing their significance and are being replaced by strategies of contrast, invention and paradox. Only they take into account our "chaotic" world full of overlaps and instabilities. Disturbances and hybrid formations correspond to postmodern life experience."

A radiant sign of change is the Markthal in Rotterdam ( A hybrid of public space and intimate retreat, big gesture, big underground garage, and big thinking. The apartments stacked on both sides lean towards each other and form a barrel vault under which public life and togetherness take place: protected from the weather and perfectly accessible.


With each new project, the liberating element of hybrid thinking was condensed – from the Ku.Be House of Culture and Movement in Copenhagen (, a place where people from 1-101 years of age can come together, to the proposal of a greened and decelerated Schiphol Airport (2. place,, an urban planning project in Seoul (, and residential buildings such as "The Valley" ( – vertical living landscapes in Amsterdam that look as if the architects had poured acid onto a polystyrene block, but actually calculated optimal angles for balconies and apartments with the help of computers. "Living in high-rise buildings – we as lowlanders still have to learn that," said the architect and won over the audience one more time.


So why don't we build houses that contain everything within themselves right away, asked architect Nathalie de Vries quite rightly – and it sounded like a call for disposing of a few building regulations files. In the end, she gave some indications of what she so aptly described as "shallow": the ability to allow hybrid forms from the outset, such as at the threshold of office space and rented apartments, the rededication of which may not be as difficult as often experienced: higher ceiling heights than usual, an active, open ground floor with shops and public facilities, and a few undefined areas.

Hybridity actually means "doing a little more of everything" and "going outside". So, get up from the desk and from the comfortable sofa and get out to where life is happening, socialise, be ready to share ideas.

Are we not hybrids ourselves, the architect asked at the end – and numerous guests agreed.


Text: Dr. Oliver Herwig & Andreas Groß
Photographs: Studio für Gestaltung

Cologne in Beijing

In the Chinese capital, HGEsch and Carpet Concept made it possible for some 28,000 Chinese to enjoy a view from Cologne Cathedral.

For seven days, Chinese visitors to Beijing were able to test a real Cologne feeling: in November, around 28,000 visitors admired the unique view from Cologne Cathedral in the middle of the Chinese capital.


Cologne in Beijing – this was made possible by the Panorama Rotunda of photo artist HGEsch, which presents a 360° panoramic view of Cologne. The true-to-life panoramic image was created on the crossing tower of Cologne Cathedral and lets visitors literally immerse themselves. Thanks to the high resolution of the rotunda images, which are composed of 60 photographs, the smallest details can be discovered. Despite the distance of almost 8000 km, the Rhenish metropolis became a tangible experience, and deceptively real selfies with the cathedral in the background were taken in Beijing. The internationally successful rotunda idea of photo artist HGEsch has been supported from the beginning by Carpet Concept, a specialist for textile rooms and carpets designed with an architectural approach.


In the meantime, the Rotunda has returned to Cologne. Cologne's Lord Mayor Henriette Reker was so impressed, too, that the Panorama Rotunda will probably be shown in the centre of the cathedral city next year. Like HG Esch's Shanghai 360° Rotunda, which was last to be seen in Belgrade, the Cologne Rotunda will also go on a world tour – the various stops are still to be announced.

Recipes from the web-kitchen

Our web-kitchen is a centerpiece of Münchenbernsdorf - and it is not there by chance. Cooking is a creative as well as a sensual process and so is weaving.

So here we will present you once a month our best recipes

Voilá, the table is set. This time it's Swabian Spinach Ravioli in a Herb-Meat Stock

Download recipe here!


The House of Communication

Serviceplan, the largest owner-managed agency group in Europe, has a new office on the Museum Island in Berlin. When planning the office layout together with designfunktion, the company opted for CAS Rooms from Carpet Concept in order to create rooms for creative work.

You have to put up with more.

"I find it exciting to take carpets out of their context," says Patrick Lüth from Snøhetta in Innsbruck. Only recently, the architect was working with a carpet from Carpet Concept for a temporary installation."

Snøhetta Arkitektur og Landskap are known for their transdisciplinary way of thinking and working. Interdisciplinarity is not a buzzword at Snøhetta, but rather a driving force and attitude - whether in collaboration with creative minds, landscape designers, philosophers or artists such as Olafur Eliasson. Their buildings attract worldwide attention: the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, which they built in 2002, the Olympic Art Museum Lillehammer or the Opera House in Norway. The approach to consider architecture as a built landscape connects all projects of the office. This was also the key aspect of Snøhetta's exhibition in Innsbruck, with the focus being on the installation "Relations" - implemented with the carpet Eco Iqu from Carpet Concept. Patrick Lüth from Snøhetta talks about the office's special approach to projects and why landscape plays a central role in the focus of the architecture.



Mr. Lüth, what image did you particularly enjoy this morning?


Most of all the image of my children, who enjoyed the first snow in Innsbruck. This unbelievable change that the children capture and experience in the landscape is moving.



Which significance do you attach to landscape in design?


At Snøhetta, we have two components of the landscape concept. Every building is integrated in a landscape context, and for us this has an influence on structures. We are very much concerned with the physical context. We don’t know any dogmas. For example, it can be organic structures that determine the context. We believe that topography can make a difference for users, because interpersonal interactions are controlled by design. One example of this is our opera house in Norway.



What do you observe there?


The following happens in the interior: When people leave classic movement patterns, for example when walking on sloping surfaces, they behave in a new way. This influences the visitors, it removes inhibition thresholds, and many things are now happening at eye level. This is also the case on the rooftop of the Oslo Opera House. People are using it in a new way. When walking across the uneven surfaces, they walk very carefully, as in nature. You can experience architecture physically. The architecture itself is static, but we move the users, physically and in terms of content. Our aim is to get in direct contact with people through architecture.



How do you try to return nature to architecture?


We want to treat nature with respect. It is all about atmospheres that are derived from architecture and the retrieval and protection of nature. One example is Northern Norway, where it seemed necessary for us to remove a part of a mountain. But respectfully, to save the place.



Why are architecture and nature so often contradictory today?


In Central Europe, this is because architecture is perceived as a service and not as the design of living spaces. Buildings are often only a part, they are not considered in an overall context of living space. Frequently, there is a lack of sensitivity in cities to deal with this densified space.



Do you think the urban space is too dense?


I don't think the space is too densified. Density doesn't necessarily mean to build up everything. In such places we are trying to build vertically. Density is not bad, per se it shows frequency. But compaction is accompanied by sensitive planning. We are currently building a small project with 40 very densely laid out residential units. A vertical building, the roof surfaces are planted with greenery, the subject of "urban gardening" plays a role. A small example, but in the intermediate zone of cities of 5,000-20,000 inhabitants, this is a large vacuum.



How do you try to select materials?


Our choice of materials at Snøhetta follows fundamental considerations. We use as few materials as possible. For example, marble and wood are predominant at the Oslo Opera House, and these materials are carefully selected. If we specify marble, it is used on various surfaces, sometimes thinner, sometimes thicker.

In Saudi Arabia, we used rammed clay as it is deeply rooted in the local history. At the same time, we contrasted it with stainless steel, a high-tech material of the future. During the first meetings with the client, rammed clay caused great astonishment. But it made sense because the material is characteristic of the location.



Are there any textile landscapes you have been studying?


Textile landscapes are a subject that we have not yet exhausted. It is fascinating and has a soft quality. It would be a subject which we could work and experiment with well. One could, for example, also imagine an exciting study object using carpet and implement many exceptional ideas.



You do not shy away from taking materials out of their context. Do you also have a new idea for the topic of carpets?


Carpets are very high-quality materials, they are acoustically effective and comfortable. If we move the floor from three-dimensionality to verticality, I can imagine lining entire rooms, from the floor to the ceiling, and trying out a lot of new things.



You recently integrated the Eco Iqu S carpet from Carpet Concept into the "Relations" exhibition - why did you choose exactly this carpet?


The exciting thing about this carpet product is that it is bi-coloured. Our inspiration was that we wanted to show an architectural landscape which alludes to our origin from Norway. Carpet Concept's carpet has reminded us of reindeer lichens. At the same time, Eco Iqu proved to be functional and advantageous because it is relatively non-slip. Our installation at our exhibition in Innsbruck was very steep, at the steepest point the gradient was more than 30 percent - like a ski slope. Our motto is "you have to be prepared to put up with more", whether it's walking around the installation or concerns new ideas that we present to clients.

Once a year, we also take on a special challenge: climbing the Snøhetta Mountain in Norway. We achieve this together. And this is also true in the construction process: if you set yourself a demanding task and accomplish it, it is very satisfying.



Which project would you like to see implemented in the future?


Exciting projects are the ones for which we have to question ourselves and which we develop further with other individuals. Big competitions sometimes allow for real innovations. But it doesn't always have to be the things that can be marketed well at the end of the day.


Up-to-date information for journalists and media representatives is available here for download and free use by Carpet Concept.

Press releases



Two awards for Eco MIX: Carpet Concept's tile collection was awarded the "ICONIC AWARDS 2018: Innovative Architecture - Winner" in the PRODUCT category as well as the Red Dot Award Product Design 2018.

"The winner is" - Carpet Concept's Eco MIX carpet tile collection has earned two awards at once. Eco MIX has received the two most prestigious awards in the industry: the "ICONIC AWARDS 2018: Innovative Architecture - Winner" in the "Product" category as well as the Red Dot Award Product Design 2018. Carpet Concept has been awarded the coveted prizes for the fifth consecutive year since 2013.

Eco MIX - sensual modular system for architects

With Eco MIX, Carpet Concept takes design freedom to a new level. Different patterns and proportions give rooms a completely new look. "Eco MIX is not the grey tile with the standard size of 50 x 50 centimetres," explains Elke Malek, Head of Design at the office of Hadi Teherani, who helped develop the collection. "There are office areas where peace and quiet is desired. Corridor or reception areas, on the other hand, can be emphasised. The collection offers everything—from the basics to complex shapes, extraordinary surfaces and differentiated colour coding".  

Mix is a modular system for active interior design. The new formats are striking. For example, the 1 x 1 metre carpet tile inspired by traditional Japanese interior design with tatami mats. Derived from this in decimal steps, MIX Geometric provides five additional, smaller rectangular formats.

Another consistent innovation that can change rooms quickly and flexibly is MIX Organic. This collection is characterised by freer shapes: organic tiles that feature an orthogonal or diagonal wavy shape.

"This new generation of textile tiles reacts extremely flexibly to the challenges of our working environments," explains Thomas Trenkamp, Managing Partner of Carpet Concept. "Here we have designed a completely new line that meets the demands for flexibility, sustainability, and individuality. In our digital age, in particular, the question of how we can design our working environment in a more humane and sensual way is becoming increasingly important."


About the awards:

With the ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Architecture, the German Design Council was able to establish a neutral, international architecture and design competition that for the first time considers the disciplines and their interplay. The award honours visionary buildings, innovative products, and sustainable communication from all sectors of architecture, the construction and real estate industry as well as the manufacturing industry. The focus is on the holistic staging and interaction of the trades in the context of architecture.

Red Dot Award: This year, the jury received entries from 59 countries; all submitted products were individually assessed over several days by an independent and international jury. The Red Dot Award: Product Design thus stands more than ever for one of the most renowned evaluation procedures for good design and innovation. 

Information: Design possibilities with Eco MIX will be presented at the Carpet Concept booth N10/M11, Hall 10.2 at Orgatec 2018 in Cologne.

Silicon Valley of Quality Products

What does "Made in Germany" mean today? Sustainability and local production are some of the strengths German companies use as advertising points. But what does it mean to run a company in Germany today that has a global presence and must successfully distinguish itself from Designed in Italy or the USA?

A group of high-ranking entrepreneurs and managers discussed how German companies operate internationally with great success and why they rely on Germany as a business location. The guests were Andreas Dornbracht, managing partner of Dornbracht, Leo Lübke, managing partner of COR Sitzmöbeln; Thomas Trenkamp, managing partner of Carpet Concept, and Steffen Salinger, managing director of Artemide.


The evening revealed the strengths of German SMEs: the possibility of individualising products and the strong promotion of innovation through the German location. "We have been focusing on Germany as a production location from an early stage and have always regarded carpets as a 'textile building material'," explained Thomas Trenkamp. To see product development as a continuous process was a key to the success of his company Carpet Concept. "Made in Germany has a lot to do with the product philosophy, above all with the factors of functionality and design as well as sustainability," he is convinced. Leo Lübke agreed: "The drive to run a company is not exclusively of a monetary nature. More satisfying than maximizing profits or increasing sales is the implementation of ideas that the founder has pursued with great passion. For me personally, it is very satisfying to unite many different trades under one roof and to be able to offer the employees good jobs".

It became clear during the discussion that sustainability, flexibility, and local production are not lip service from small and medium-sized businesses, but real strengths, which are complemented by another one added by Andreas Dornbracht: "We as medium-sized businesses have a huge opportunity that we stand up for this with our property and also follow certain moral principles," stated the managing partner of Dornbracht. Steffen Salinger also underlined that the value "Made in Germany" stands for a clear quality concept, underpinned by the triad of "innovation, development and product quality": Ultimately, it is primarily about "values"—and this accordance also applies to his Italian company Artemide.

Shanghai 360° in Belgrade
Carpet Concept sponsors exhibition on the mega-city Shanghai

From 13 to 17 June 2018, around 112,000 visitors had the opportunity to experience the Chinese mega-city Shanghai up close in the 360-degree panorama rotunda in Belgrade's Kneza Mihaila pedestrian zone. The special quality of this visual experience is the immersive environment: the visitor can literally immerse himself in the picture as if he were at the scene of the event, in the middle of Shanghai's new Pudong district.

The fascinating photograph of the city silhouette was taken from Huangpu River with a specially designed drone with 16 rotors. Thanks to the high resolution, even the smallest details are visible.  

HG Esch has already presented the booming skyline with great success directly outside the Rockefeller Center in New York. Other locations were Houston, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, St. Moritz, Milan, Cologne, and Hamburg.

Cooperation partners
Leica Camera AG

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality 
carpet concept
ingenhoven architects

What Moves Us

Christoph Ingenhoven's work on Spaceship Earth: Lecture and discussion at the KAP Forum Cologne, which was co-initiated by Carpet Concept.


A flight on the ISS over our blue planet: Christoph Ingenhoven quotes the American architect and visionary Buckminster Fuller at the beginning of his lecture at KAP Forum Cologne, which was fully booked with around 250 visitors at the Museum for Applied Arts in Cologne.

Christoph Ingenhoven not only ranks among the high-flyers of the German architectural scene, but also among its pioneers. He succeeds in achieving what moved Fuller early on: to consider the work on the spaceship Earth as comprehensively as possible. "We try to do as little as possible," he explains when describing his buildings between Singapore and Stuttgart 21. A journey across continents that Ingenhoven also understands politically: "The aim of our houses is that you can no longer take anything away, that everything makes sense. To him, Supergreen is more than just a term, "Supergreen is what drives us."


"Nobody asked us for a green building for the first 20 years," says Christoph Ingenhoven. In the meantime, the topic has also reached the end consumers. They decided about the future: extensive consumption of land, waste of energy, food shortage—Ingenhoven has statistics or a clever comparison on all these topics. Example: Around 18 percent of the world's population live in large cities, but these represent 66 percent of global economic output. A number he uses to make it clear that architecture takes on a mission that goes beyond the private sphere - it is public and has responsibility. Ingenhoven assumes this responsibility, for example, with its multi-award-winning "Marina One" in Singapore. An ensemble of residential and office towers for over 20,000 people, which was deliberately not built in mirror glass, as cities are already six to eight degrees warmer than their surroundings and do not need to be heated artificially. Marina One is therefore kept in shades of brown and overgrown with greens. A high-rise complex which with its concept returns a multiple of the legally required minimum to the city: atmosphere, recreational qualities, a piece of green space, publicity, and at the same time shows how future construction in subtropical megacities can work.


Energy efficiency as a political and ecological programme—this is translated into architecture by Ingenhoven. "Buildings can always make a contribution," he is convinced. Soon he will also have such a green building constructed in Düsseldorf’s city centre, with beech hedges planted like vineyards, which are already being grown for this purpose.


The final question: "Can you eat a building even though you've already eaten it?" The verbal image alludes to the "cradle to cradle" system: to construct a building in such a way that its parts can be returned to the structural "food chain". At Ingenhoven, this idea is also linked to a "more". The challenge of generating something new not only from the components, but from the entire whole. A project that makes clear: few architects are as all-embracing as Hollein’s student Christoph Ingenhoven when it comes to energy-efficient construction.





JUNE 12, 2018, 7 P.M.

Christoph Ingenhoven has made a name for himself far beyond Germany with elegant buildings. His architecture combines ecology and presence. However, how does sustainability really work? How can potentials be exploited on site? What prevails over evaluation charts and regulations—and how can principles be attained that last beyond the day? One thing is certain: Sustainability is no longer an option. It is set. Impulse lecture and discussion.


Venue:  MAKK Museum für Angewandte Kunst, An der Rechtschule, 50667 Köln


Christoph Ingenhoven,
Dipl.-Ing. Architekt BDA, RIBA, ingenhoven architects, Düsseldorf


Andreas Grosz & Dr. Oliver Herwig
KAP Forum



Dr. Petra Hesse
Direktion MAKK, Köln


Regestration: KAP FORUM
Free Admission



Available only in german!



DI., 24. APRIL 2018, 19 UHR

Google, Amazon und Facebook legen vor: Corporate Design spielt eine wichtige Rolle, wenn sich Internetriesen als modern darstellen. Apple investiert sogar Milliarden in seinen Campus. Das so genannte Spaceship wurde von Lord Foster entworfen. Doch wie sieht es in Deutschland aus? Wie präsentieren sich hier Arbeitgeber? Und können Start-Ups auf das eigene Bürohaus womöglich verzichten?


wo:  MAKK Museum für Angewandte Kunst, An der Rechtschule, 50667 Köln


Martin Henn
Dipl.-Ing. Arch., Managing Director, HENN, Berlin

Jochen Siegemund
Prof. Dipl.-Ing., CIAD Cologne Institute of Architectural Design, TH Köln

Werner Sübai
Dipl.-Ing. Arch., Geschäftsführer, HPP Architekten, Düsseldorf

Gerhard Wittfeld
Dipl.-Ing. Arch., Geschäftsführer, kadawittfeldarchitektur, Aachen


Andreas Grosz & Dr. Oliver Herwig
KAP Forum



Dr. Petra Hesse
Direktion MAKK, Köln


Anmeldung: KAP FORUM
Der Eintritt ist frei!


Carpet Concept honours for the tenth time:

INsider Award ceremony in Cologne. Award has influenced interior design for yearsn.


“The overwhelming thing was the recognition as well as the laudatory speech given by my business partner Steffen Bucher," said this year's winner of the INsider Award, Lars-Erik Prokop, from 12:43 Architeken from Stuttgart.  

For the tenth time, the INsider Award was presented by Carpet Concept in Cologne. The achievements of the nominees are assessed during a closed meeting during which selected interior designers act as jurors and select the prize-winner - i.e. the INsider of the year - directly on site. "These are three special days in very special places," reported patron Robert Piotrowski, partner with Ecker Architekten Heidelberg. This time, the meeting was held in Barcelona and the following interior designers were honoured: The first prize went to Lars-Erik Prokop from 12:43 Architekten, Stuttgart, for his well thought-out, flowing interior concepts that focus on health and medical practices. Dieter Schmidt, partner of Schmidt Holzinger Innenarchitekten from Rodgau, was awarded second prize for his sensitive design of private interiors. Award winner Eva Marguerre from Studio Besau-Marguerre in Hamburg, was honoured for her experimental use of material and colour and the resulting dialogue in the room.

This year's winner of the INsider Award, Lars-Erik Prokop, not only associates quality and a clear attitude towards design with the award, but also with the company hosting the event, Carpet Concept. Now in its tenth year as the initiator of the INsider Award, Carpet Concept has developed this prize into the probably most coveted distinction in interior design. At the same time, the INsider Award is also a forum for networking and exchange, which has in the meantime stimulated many office developments.