Black Panther by GS Architects is the stunning, new headquarters for Uniopt Pachleitner Group, an innovative eyewear and jewellery company, based in Graz, Austria. The original name is MP 09, but nicknamed ‘black panther’ by GS Architects, as after all the ‘black panther’ is the symbol of femininity, elegance, and power; the architectural brief was to construct a landmark building which reflects the products of Uniopt Pachleitner Group, the innovation, the culture and the philosophy. The company was set in focus to translate its philosophy and the nature of the company into architecture. 

An artistic, sculpture-like aesthetic is clearly visible on the architectural design; GS Architects have achieved to create an aesthetic with imposing angles and dynamic sharp edges.  The building’s black cladding assists in making it imposing, prevailing, yet elegant.  GS Architects selected a ventilated rain screen cladding system from Sto; the specific mechanical system has allowed for an exceedingly ambitious design, as well as for the pure and elegant black finish.

Emphasis was given to the selection of the protective glass system by Sto as ‘protective glass’ characterizes the nature and the philosophy of Uniopt Pachleitner Group.  The lightweight rain screen cladding system of StoVerotec provided all the functional and aesthetic design elements that the client and GSArchtiects required; StoVerotec Glass Panel is bespoke manufactured to meet the color, size and other requirements.  The ‘black panther’ is erected over a concrete base develops from a compact tail to a more and more resolving head cantilevering towards the city.  The different directions of the building structure are retrieved in the inside structure of the spaces. From almost every position there are vistas through the whole building to the outdoor spaces. A special quality of the building evolves out of the individually designed technical solutions concerning the facade, partition walls, doors, staircases and many other components.

Through the elements used the ‘black panther’ manages to emotionalize the architecture by describing the vision and making it physically and sculpturally ascertainable; “where design and shape evolve, ideas emerge and become manifest in mass.”  Despite the dynamic design, the ‘black panther’ creates zeal and alacrity to the urban architecture.  An architectonic punctuation at an exposed site of the city – a fresh and distinguishing landmark entree to the city of Graz – a future oriented potential for development of the entire area.


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