Sauflon Innovation Centre
Tuesday 25 Mar 2014


The task of Foldes Architects was to create an iconic yet functional centre of innovation serving mainly as a showcase for the high-tech, innovative production methods used in the manufacturing of the latest generation, high-quality contact lens products of Sauflon. 700 people work daily at the factory which shares the space with the centre of innovation. The challenge was how to couple this functionality with a pure, event and conference oriented guest welcoming, elegant space. The concept derived from the definition of lens, the means of vision. The designers also took inspiration from the high-technology of the lens industry. Therefore clean, intelligent, integrated solutions as well as playful reflections, gloss surfaces and transparency all played an important part. This concept is supported by the resin flooring, glass bridges, opened-up volume and tremendous flow of light streaming through the glass façade and the glass roof.

Some 20 kilometres south of the capital, Budapest, in the heart of a modern industrial park, among masses of metal masts, this hidden beauty is waiting for visitors from other lands. The physical production process is settled in the same building, only a door divides it from the centre of innovation space. To the façade, a huge glass surface is used to maximize the amount of light flowing in. After entering, the 10 meter high volume remains open and a long passage welcomes visitors with a sloped glass surface at the end which tricks the vision. On the right hand side the core functions are located: first a lounge with a glass wall presenting the visual ID of the company, then a cloakroom hidden by ‘floating' glass doors and finally the rebel pink glass covered cafe including kitchen and the mechanical room behind. Above, a wooden box is cantilevered, a house within the house, which serves as an auditorium with 32 seats and an integrated interpreter-cabin for conferences. The box can be entered from the upstairs guest area, through two green glass bridges. The next bridge gives access to the fitting room where clinical training is delivered. A 12 seat meeting room can be reached through the same bridge. On the ground floor a white door opens up the secret of the Sauflon Centre of Innovation - visitors can enter the production area here which provides a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the technologies used by one of the most pioneering companies in optics. An iconic text welcomes their arrival: ‘Innovation is at the heart of everything we do'

Foldes Architects

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