Lorenzo Bizzi and Frank Lottermann met while at university. Lorenzo was studying business administration while Frank was a design student. After discovering they had a common interest in design and event management, they set up the Nordisk Büro agency in 1996. This internationally oriented full-service agency with over 30 employees and two offices in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg focuses on STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS and has won numerous international awards.
As well as setting up Nordisk Büro, Lorenzo and Frank have also been busy since 1996 planning and organising their own series of parties in various locations with a host of top international DJs. These popular parties go by the name Nordisk Club and from the earliest days have been a valuable and integral component of the Nordisk Büro brand. They have also enabled the company to position itself effectively in the corporate events sector.
Lorenzo and Frank met each other at the end of the 1980s and worked together while at university as stagehands in the theatre and at trade fairs.
After completing his studies, Frank went to Berlin to work for MetaDesign and Lorenzo went to accenture (then still Andersen Consulting). However, after just a few months Lorenzo was starting to have serious doubts about his chosen career path and made a brief phone call to Frank: “Hey man, come back to Frankfurt, let’s do something awesome.”
“Hey man, come back to Frankfurt, let’s do something awesome.”
After briefly deliberating how to earn a living, they came up with the brilliant idea of organising parties, which should keep them solvent – at least for a while. They rented an old empty building including a 600sqm warehouse from Deutsche Bahn at the former freight depot. It’s now home to Messe Frankfurt Hall 3.
In mid-August 1996 the first Nordisk Club opened with its distinctive sign – two burning oil barrels in front of the door.
The name actually came from a sign on the building itself: Nordisk Spedition (Nordisk Freight). The first party night was a great success. At the turntables was Daniel Haaksman who, together with Michael Rütten, Matthias Westerweller and Angelika Hefner, became the first resident DJs.
In addition to the spectacular sound and light installations, another major factor in the success of the Nordisk Club were the unique handmade flyers and giveaways, including repackaged Wrigley’s chewing gum packs, test tubes and bags of The Herbalizer dried herbs for DJ Oli Teba. The number of flyers was always restricted to 100-200, which were distributed exclusively by Frank and Lorenzo in person.
Following the final closure of the first – not quite legal – Nordisk Club after only 7 months by the combined forces of the police, Federal Border Guard and Criminal Investigation Department (Lorenzo had unfortunately demanded 10 Deutschmarks each from two plainclothes police officers who had identified themselves at the door, and since they weren’t prepared to pay, they were both barred from the club ...), the Nordisk Club moved into its new premises in June 1997: 3 disused Deutsche Bahn mail wagons (200 m long and 2.75 m wide) opposite the Frankfurt East rail station with 2 dance floors, 3 rail wagons, top DJs and two 100 m long pieces created by the legendary Pino.
This ‘train club’ is perhaps best described by the text on a flyer of the time: “You missed it, that moment when inside the floor shakes, when outside the grey of the morning gives way to a surreal pink, and when the sun sends its first rays at the split second when the bass comes back in...”.
This early success, and the demand for flyer designs and club concepts for others, made it possible for them to move into their first office. A vacant car workshop in a rear courtyard became Nordisk Büro. And the money earned every fortnight from the Nordisk Club financed the purchase of a printer, desk, monitor, fax machine and other office essentials.
The ‘Frankfurt am Main – Luftkurort’ (Frankfurt am Main health resort) T-shirt also dates from this period. Originally produced in a first limited edition as a flyer for DJ Shantel, it was reissued again in 2020 as a fresh cool shirt in the Nordisk Shop.
Countless parties in countless locations throughout Frankfurt followed:
1998–2001 Union Gelände on Hanauer Landstrasse with Rockers Hi-Fi, Terranova and Kruder & Dorfmeister
2001–2003 Panalpina skyscraper (later to become the Cocoon Club) on the top two floors, with up to 1,000 guests, Portishead DJ and many others!
2003–2009 Various locations in Frankfurt, including the Hauptzollamt at the Museum of Modern Art, the rehearsal stage of the Schauspiel Frankfurt theatre and the pre-opening of the U60311 Club with DJ Terra Nova
2009–2014 Trading as ROCKMARKET with up to 1,800 guests
2014 Organisation of the MTV Music Award including the after-show party at Cocoon.
MR Soulpatrol aka Michael Rütten
Weller (Matthias Westerweller)
Hefner (Angelika Hefner)
Brandt Brauer Frick
Ollie Teeba (The Herbalizer)
Chaos & Fetisch (Terra Nova)
Phil & Pat (m.a.n.d.y.)
DJ Hausmarke (Turntable Rockers)
Kruder & Dorfmeister
Nova Heart from Bejing
Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem
Emanuela de Luca
Matt Didemus (Junior Boys)
Patrick Forge (Da Lata)
DJ Fat Tony Crew
Rainer Trüby Trio
Juju & Jordash
Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip)
It would probably be fair to say that the Nordisk Club was and continues to be one of the most relaxed and coolest clubs in the city.
It always has great DJs, a faithful crowd, sensational flyers and the hippest locations and installations. An entire clubbing generation has borne witness to its success.
In parallel with the Nordisk Club parties, Nordisk Büro slowly developed into a full-service agency, which then also went by the name ‘HOT SHOP’. In 2000, the company moved to Hanauer Landstrasse opposite the Kinkamehamea Club – at the time, one of the hippest areas of the city. Today, Nordisk Büro is located in the Frankfurt Bahnhofsviertel district near the train station.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, Frank and Lorenzo have been able to incorporate their know-how from the Nordisk Club into corporate events. Some people will undoubtedly still remember the All-Hands Meeting in 2001 in Frankfurt’s Gewinnerstrasse. Instead of a traditional event with hors d’oeuvres from the freezer, female saxophone bands and slip covers over the chairs, there was instead a group of unconventional young chefs (Frank Rosin, Stefan Marquard, Markus Semmler, Ralf Zacherl, Holger Stromberg and others), the show group DIE TERRORSCHWESTERN with champagne running down their legs in the bars and Gloria Gaynor with her band ... the rest is probably best left shrouded in the mists of time.
In 2001, because of the lack of a good caterer in Frankfurt, Frank and Lorenzo founded their own whole food catering company Nykke&Kokki (in Scandinavian: Mood&Chef), which they ran together with Michael Frank up until 2012. At its height the company had over 180 employees and 6 restaurants including catering services.
During this time, Karina Bizzi together with Lorenzo founded the organic ice cream company BIZZIICE, a brand that has won multiple international awards and runs several ice cream parlours in Frankfurt.
At the same time, the photographer duo Lottermann and Fuentes also came together on their first joint assignment for the Staatstheater Mainz – their client was Nordisk Büro.
The crises of the past three decades, such as 9/11, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2003, the economic crisis in 2008 and now the Coronavirus pandemic, have certainly had an impact on Nordisk Büro, but Frank and Lorenzo have always managed to pull through. One thing, though, has never changed:
Frank and Lorenzo are still friends, and just as close as when they first met at the end of the 1980s.
picture credits: Ernst Stratmann, Unbekannt, Unsplash (Alec Favale, Charles Deluvio, Steve Harvey), Lottermann and Fuentes.