Office Design Week

As a Swiss specialist for HPL panels, Argolite not only stands for the highest functionality, such as good fire protection and excellent hygienic properties, but also for atmospheric value. A successful example of this is the interior redesign of the motor ship Wädenswil...

Zurich architect Susanne Fritz used HPL panels from Argolite in her careful interior redesign of the motor ship Wädenswil (pictured here: the buffet area with dining room)

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

Zurich architect Susanne Fritz used HPL panels from Argolite in her careful interior redesign of the motor ship Wädenswil (pictured here: the buffet area with dining room)

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On excursions and longer journeys, I have become especially fond of ships and ferries. Even as a child, I loved trips across lakes or from the mainland to an island. The eager anticipation of the destination becomes increasingly palpable, and that holiday feeling kicks in the moment the vessel starts out on the water – because the time spent on a ship is always special.

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The Swiss manufacturer of high-quality high-pressure laminate (HPL) launched the "Argolite Architecture Dialogues" event series in 2020. Selected architectural buildings in which high-quality Argolite HPL has been used will be shown

Many of the ships in operation today can look back on decades of service. That is precisely what makes them so charming, taking passengers on a trip back in time. Of course, everything should run perfectly from a technical point of view – which can be ensured by professional maintenance. But sometimes it is also a matter of carefully updating the interior of a ship, so passengers feel comfortable and at ease.

This is precisely the topic of the new episode of the “Architecture Dialogues” film series launched by the Swiss HPL manufacturer Argolite. The motto is “Welcome everybody – architecture of accessibility”. The latest example reports on a very special project: Zurich architect Susanne Fritz was commissioned to redesign the interior of the motor vessel MS Wädenswil, built in 1968 and still plying the waters of Lake Zurich.

For the ship's buffet, the architect chose 1030 Strato Anti-Fingerprint with the surface structure SR (Strato rough). Fritz: "It's important to us that the materials and products we use exude value."

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

For the ship's buffet, the architect chose 1030 Strato Anti-Fingerprint with the surface structure SR (Strato rough). Fritz: "It's important to us that the materials and products we use exude value."

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In the video, Susanne Fritz answers the questions of Anita Simeon Lutz, editor-in-chief of the magazine Das Ideale Heim. And the interview takes place at the center of the action: in one of the saloons and on deck of the MS Wädenswil. Lutz herself studied architecture at the ETH and knows the challenges that arise when it comes to preserving or reinterpreting historical interiors.

Argolite reports on the project in the film series "Architecture Dialogues". The motto is "Welcome everybody – architecture of accessibility". In the film clip, Anita Simeon Lutz (left) interviews architect Susanne Fritz (right)

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

Argolite reports on the project in the film series "Architecture Dialogues". The motto is "Welcome everybody – architecture of accessibility". In the film clip, Anita Simeon Lutz (left) interviews architect Susanne Fritz (right)

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The video presents a fascinating documentation of what is basically a “historic building renovation on the water”, which means: Fritz had to deal with every detail, every material – and of course with the functions of the individual rooms, in order to be able to decide where to preserve the old and where to plan and implement the new. No easy task, but this is already the third ship interior she has designed with her team.

In the case of the MS Wädenswil, Fritz once again chose products from Argolite. The Swiss manufacturer based in Willisau has been producing laminate panels since 1953. Today they are called High Pressure Laminate (HPL) and comply with the EN438 quality standard. For the architect, it was essential that the material would be robust, hygienic, durable and therefore sustainable.

Robust, sustainable, hygienic and timeless: cupboard doors, drawer fronts and shelves of the new buffet at MS Wädenswil were made of discreet dark grey HPL panels from Argolite

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

Robust, sustainable, hygienic and timeless: cupboard doors, drawer fronts and shelves of the new buffet at MS Wädenswil were made of discreet dark grey HPL panels from Argolite

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For the ship's buffet, for example, she chose 1030 Strato Anti-Fingerprint with the surface structure SR (Strato rough), and 12 mm thick HPL Kompakt with a white core and the surface structure SM (silk matt) was used for the tables. As Fritz explained, “It is important to us that the materials and products we use convey value. For us, this shows appreciation towards the client and the user.”

In terms of materials, surfaces and decors, Argolite covers a broad spectrum that gives architects, designers and carpenters great aesthetic freedom. The Swiss manufacturer’s portfolio offers aesthetically and functionally convincing solutions for a wide range of individual applications.

Susanne Fritz also used Argolite's product range for the table tops in the dining area and on deck: they were made of 12 mm thick HPL Kompakt with a white core and SM (satin matt) surface texture

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

Susanne Fritz also used Argolite's product range for the table tops in the dining area and on deck: they were made of 12 mm thick HPL Kompakt with a white core and SM (satin matt) surface texture

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The company’s website provides comprehensive information on materials and product properties, colour variants and visual and tactile nuances of the individual product lines. For interested designers who want to physically inspect and explore the products, there is the possibility of ordering actual samples with the desired decor and surface structure combination at argolite.ch. The premium-quality HPL BOX collection with material samples and manuals is delivered personally by the Argolite sales team on request.

By the way, a ship like the MS Wädenswil is not merely used for lake crossings, but can also be booked for special events. So it’s not just functionality that matters, and issues such as disabled-friendly interior solutions, fire protection and weight distribution, but also the atmosphere that the ship’s hospitality rooms should exude.

All the control units required for ship navigation were precisely integrated into an Argolite HPL panel. It is particularly suitable because of its durability and guarantees glare-free operation

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

All the control units required for ship navigation were precisely integrated into an Argolite HPL panel. It is particularly suitable because of its durability and guarantees glare-free operation

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With a sure instinct for colours and surfaces, Fritz has created a space that is both elegant and communicative, understandable and approachable, and appeals to a broad target group. Argolite’s HPL products make an important contribution here to the new overall atmosphere of the ship, for example through the warm white tone chosen for the tabletops.

The motor ship Wädenswil has been sailing on Lake Zurich since 1968. Since it is also booked for festive events, it was time for a re-design that creates a special atmosphere

Argolite's HPL panels for more functionality and value at sea | News

The motor ship Wädenswil has been sailing on Lake Zurich since 1968. Since it is also booked for festive events, it was time for a re-design that creates a special atmosphere

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At the end of the video, the viewer sees the MS Wädenswil gliding across Lake Zurich from a bird’s eye view – and feels an immediate desire to venture on board for a first-hand experience of its materials and details.

Photos: © Pierre Kellenberger, © Torvioll Jashari

© Architonic

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