Prime your gimmick radar: Adidas has moved into a new research facility that’s being billed as an architectural visualization of shoelaces. The “laces” are white walkways that crisscross the interior and “tie the built volume together,” to quote the architects’ press release. They call the place Adidas Laces (of course). All of which would be downright silly, if the building weren’t so well designed.
Adidas Laces completes the master plan for the shoe brand’s sprawling corporate headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. As the largest building on campus, it had to be able to accommodate 1,700 designers, developers, scientists, and marketing strategists--no small number. Rather than stuff everyone in a big bulky box, which would’ve been the easiest (and, as anyone who’s actually had to work in one of those buildings will tell you, the most soul-sucking) route, the architects, Aachen-based Kadawittfeldarchitektur, arranged offices around the ring of a skewed, pinched rectangle, giving the middle over to a sun-streaked atrium. The upshot: Employees get tons of natural light, whether their desks face the outdoors or the atrium.
The problem, though, is that to get from one side of the building to the other, you have to march all the way around the ring. But by weaving skywalks--sorry, laces--throughout the atrium, employees can travel easily throughout the facility without feeling like they just walked the Malerweg. Bet these architects could work wonders with shell toes.