Like many preserved old towns, the center of Tübingen consists of numerous atmospheric alleys: At first, one has no idea of the development potential that still exists in the rear courtyards and even small garden plots behind the historic houses. Such an opportunity was seized by Dannien Roller Architekten + Partner with their conversion of a residential and commercial building which, although not dating from the early modern period, thanks to its construction in the 19th century and its proximity to the medieval complex of a monastery caretaker’s courtyard, stands right in the middle of the culturally saturated mix of the urban landscape.
The architects, who installed their own office there on the ground and basement floors, left the alley side with its 8-meter-wide access opening in the style of the former old town store and benefited doubly from its generous glazing: on the one hand, this provides them with daylight, which is valuable in the narrow development, and on the other hand, it allows for stimulating correspondence with the urban community. It therefore makes sense to locate the reception and the first workplaces here.
Those who successfully operate the original door handle in the form of a carved table leg get inside and are amazed at the unexpected, threefold terraced spatial development. First comes the two-story former store space, into which the 1st floor of the existing building, which feels like a mezzanine, opens with a small gallery and accommodates two more offices and a meeting room. Up to it leads an old wooden staircase. Then down – to the back. There, steps of the smooth concrete screed floor lead into the basement level with storage and toilets as well as a side kitchenette with its garish yellow counter.
One experiences an unexpectedly purist and modern working environment, organized along a tension-generating corridor that leads into the garden-side low-rise building. This new addition is entered via the conference area, through which two short flights of stairs lead to a large and a small office area. The angle of the latter defines the new courtyard. The stylistic details of the sometimes playful activation of the late classicist building include not only the large windows of the extension, but also other features such as brass railings, silver-colored curtains and a chandelier.
As a designer, how would you briefly and succinctly define the term “New Work”?
Dannien Roller Architekten: New Work refers to the ever-changing work processes and methods that we believe must be spatially possible and readable in design terms. New Work goes hand in hand with a new style of leadership that emphasizes team togetherness and individual responsibility with flat hierarchies. The spaces reflect this social reorganization and encourage quality teamwork.
There is currently a lot of talk about sustainability: Do you have a basic approach to this?
For us, sustainability in the workspace means enabling resource-conserving and adaptable work processes in terms of space and design. This creates future security for employees as well. An appreciative working environment, equal opportunities in the company and the promotion of teamwork sustainably strengthen the social fabric in the workspace.
Is it possible to respond to the home office trend in office design, or should a clear distinction be made between private and office interiors?
Home office is the term for a phenomenon that has been with us for a long time. Creative processes cannot be controlled: sketches, notes are made everywhere. This process must not be institutionalized and cast in a fixed mold. Flexible work processes are made possible in our company on an individual basis. The apartment can be used for work, but should not become a duplicate of the office. That is an encroachment on the private sphere that needs to be protected. The tendency to equip the office with apartment-like attributes such as sofas and
|Architects||Dannien Roller Architekten + Partner|
|Gross floor area m2||460|
|Number of employees||21|