Montblanc Haus in Hamburg celebrates the art of writing
Hamburg’s new Montblanc Haus, an exhibition and brand experience centre, has been designed by Spanish practice Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos to honor and inspire writing in all its forms
In partnership with Montblanc
The topographic lines of the Alpine massif are drawn across the dark, mineral exterior of Montblanc Haus in Hamburg, Germany.
Striated concrete relief evokes the mountain range from which the Montblanc company takes its name, the rocky undulations symbolizing the founders’ vision of excellence and pursuit of innovation whilst playingfully referencing the stylized, six-pointed snow-covered peaks that also appear on the cap tip of an iconic, Meisterstück fountain pen.
Montblanc commissioned renowned Spanish practice Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos to construct its ‘haus’ and brand home, the Madrid-based practice deciding on an elegant, longitudinal volume that spans the entire width of the existing site. With an exterior architecture inspired by the shape and form of Montblanc’s distinctive writing instrument box, the building was conceived to express a sense of simplicity, immovability and timelessness.
Inside, the architects chose to contrast the darkly impermeable outer shell with varying shades of white to create what they call ‘fascinating spatial impressions’.
The textured façade ‘provides a surface for dynamic projections’, explaining practice founders Enrique Sobejano and Fuensanta Nieto. ‘Behaving like a case, the simple exterior volume conceals a sophisticated sequence of spaces over three levels interconnected by a triple-height domed hall.’
Adjacent to Montblanc’s existing manufacture, Montblanc Haus is designed to both radically transform its immediate surroundings and inspire a far-reaching conversation about the importance of writing.
Across 3,600 sq m and three floors, the venue’s fluid multifunctionality is achieved with eloquent ease – it is at once brand experience, meeting place, archive and academy, with creative ateliers, lounges and exhibition spaces, a café and a boutique.
Each storey provides insight into the world of calligraphy, hand lettering and creative writing, as well as the handcrafted design and production process itself.
Central to Montblanc Haus is an exhibition of over 400 Montblanc writing instruments, from historical fountain pens to the very latest novelties, art editions, collaborations and rare collectibles.
Dedicated to keen penmanship and great stories, Montblanc Haus provides an immersive experience that was made to inspire writing. It tells the story of the brand’s iconic product, honoring the past and celebrating progress. It explores the company’s 1906 origins (when founders Alfred Nehemias, and August Eberstein made simple ink pens for the Simplo Filler Pen Company, later changing the name to Montblanc); offers a behind-the-scenes exploration of the team that crafts Montblanc’s delicate nibs in the 21st century; and reveals how the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Frida Kahlo used the fine writing instruments to leave their mark on the world. §