GRAFT international architecture was founded in Los Angeles in 1998 by Lars Krückeberg, Thomas Willemeit and Wolfram Putz, later joined by Gregor Hoheisel (in 2000) and Alejandra Lillo (2007-2011). The studio also opened offices in Berlin (2001) and Beijing (2003).
Drawing inspiration from the various meanings of its name, from the botanical to the anatomical, GRAFT says it fits in “between two genetically different cultures” like a hybrid, forming a new identity combining the positive aspects of both, which “examines the implications for architecture”.
The studio is interdisciplinary in nature, and in the past decade it has also worked on urban planning and on product and interior design, venturing into the territory of exhibition design, art installations and academic projects, from the United States to Germany, China, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Georgia and Mexico.
GRAFT has overseen a number of projects in the luxury services sector: hotels, restaurants, clubs and bars. In Las Vegas, the studio worked on the interior of famous casinos and on FIX restaurant (2003), the Stack (2006) and the Brand (2008): it designed Wokalicious in Berlin (2010); all highly expressive projects characterised by refined, modern use of materials and light effects.
GRAFT has participated in numerous hotel competitions: completed projects include Hotel Q in Berlin (2004), Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel in Tbilisi (2008), and the Emperor in Beijing (2008). The projects clearly reveal the union of “hybrid” design of local culture with the experience of a contemporary, international vocabulary.
One particularly unusual project is Platoon Kunsthalle in Berlin (2012), with B. Jiwon and Platoon Cultural Development, in which 34 containers were used to build a shed-like structure for music and street, food and video art, fashion and graphics events.
The many awards the studio has won include the 2011 European Prize for Architecture.
GRAFT famous works and projects
- Platoon Kunsthalle project, Berlin (Germany), 2012
- Dalian Youhao Square urban design project, Dalian (China), 2011
- Smart Air House residential project (Germany), 2010
- Gingko Bacchus Restaurant, Chengdu (China), 2009
- MIR shotgun house, New Orleans (USA), 2009
- Brand Restaurant Monte Carlo Casino, Las Vegas (USA), 2008
- DC Shoes Store, Los Angeles (USA), 2008
- Dental Lounge, Dusseldorf (Germany), 2008
- City West, Urban Planning, Berlin (Germany), 2008
- Qinhuangdao Sales Center, Qinhuangdao (China), 2007
- The Pink Project installation, New Orleans (USA), 2007
- Parkland Offices, Beijing (China), 2007
- Vantone Showroom, Tientsin (China), 2007
- Kinderdentist Dr. Mokabberi, Berlin (Germany), 2007
- Opticon, Eyewear Store, Hamburg (Germany), 2007
- Stargarder Strasse, Berlin (Germany), 2004
- DC Shoes Retail Store, New York (USA), 2004
- Hotel Q, Berlin (Germany), 2004
- FIX ristorante, Casino Bellagio, Las Vegas (USA), 2003
- Panorama Towers, Las Vegas (USA), 2003