New Olympus European Headquarters

1999 - 2000
Olympus Zentrale, Hamburg, Germany

Between 1999 and 2000, Brian Clarke designed an artistic scheme for the new European Headquarters of Olympus Optical in Hamburg, a building designed by Knueppel & Faber and opened in 1999.

The modern stained glass facade and ceiling had been screenprinted with ceramic in a novel technique, and measures a total of 500 square metres. This composition was paired with a Venetian glass smalti mosaic covering the stairs, measuring 40 square metres. The new structure was located opposite Olympus' former European headquarters at 16 Wendenstraße, where, in 1981, Clarke designed a programme of integral stained glass art, modular paintings and constructions. Both buildings were demolished in 2016.

In the article 'British artist Brian Clarke puts his signature on the new Olympus Building' by Sheila Hutchins, published in OLYMPUS in November 2000, Clarke said:

‘This commission is exactly 20 years since the work I completed for Olympus in the older headquarters building in Wendenstraße. It was a great privilege and an enormous creative challenge to be invited to artistically revisit the project and contribute a new piece for Olympus and the new building. The artwork is expressed using technologies that have existed for a while, but this combination of float glass, printing, computer manipulation and the artist's hand is something I have working toward for a long time. It is a very new expression of artistic stained glass. The design is stored as computer data and can be recalled in order to recreate any panel or all of the composition should it be required.’