Many medium-sized companies live their specific corporate culture so successfully because they do not lose sight of the three main aspects of their business: Development and production, entrepreneurial management and administration, and customer proximity.
This is why many locations have a deliberately designed corporate architecture that combines manufacturing, warehousing, assembly and distribution, offices and staff presence on the one hand, and showrooms and event areas on the other. This is also the case at the specialist wholesaler Hellmut Ruck GmbH in Neuenbürg in the northern Black Forest, where the focus is on foot care, cosmetics and wellness. Educational events are also offered for the central competence, podiatry.
In combination with the extension of the existing building by a connecting new building, the structure of the working and recreation areas was also rethought and redesigned. The integration of existing furniture complicated the process somewhat, but also served sustainability.
The guiding idea of the concept was the definition of different “worlds” in which the functions of the location could be summarised in terms of design and space. The introverted “world of experience” in the basement is customer-oriented and offers product contact and testing opportunities, while the “world of pleasure” is located on the upper floor. It not only visually faces the surrounding Black Forest landscape and benefits from the lush window surfaces and a large outdoor terrace.
Above all, value was placed – and this also for the staff in the building – on a comprehensive concept of enjoyment: a place for a refreshing lunch break, a short stop at the espresso bar, but also space for meetings, discussions and rest periods.
The “working world”, which is spread over three levels with 100 fixed table places, is determined by bright rooms and the colourful textiles of the furniture, combined with scattered, contrasting dark wall panels and metals. In terms of organisation, an open spatial concept dominates, which is arranged in units. Tables of two to six form clusters or are accommodated in their own compartments. In combination with the other offers on the floors, large social tables or smaller seating groups can be used up to the lounge corner in the world of enjoyment as well as the furniture on the roof terraces.
What do you consider to be the supporting qualities of a good workplace?
Florian Wahlefeld: A good workplace supports the user in his or her task. Optimally, the user can choose between different workplaces or work locations. For example, for concentrated work an enclosed quiet area, for exchange and communication an open area that supports teamwork.
Do you see any comparability in room design for living and for working?
Absolutely – the working environment becomes more homely. Considering how many hours of the day most professionals spend at work, a sense of well-being should be ensured there, which in turn has been proven to increase productivity and effectiveness. Colours and materials, as well as lighting, have a significant influence on the sense of well-being in a room; in addition, the design language of the furniture is an essential aspect of the room’s effect. The targeted placement of plants and decorative objects rounds off the overall concept in the room and lends it a quality of stay, whether for living or working.
Which functional aspects are decisive for you in the future development of the Workspaces?
The pandemic has changed the way we work, and this has had an extreme impact on Workspaces. In current projects, there are increasing demands for spaces that support team communication, creative work, social exchange and flexible collaboration. For many companies, the office is becoming the anchor of the corporate brand and the place where corporate culture is lived.
|Client||HELLMUT RUCK GmbH|
|Architects||stiegele büro + objekt GmbH & Co. KG|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction + New Building|
|Gross floor area m2||4.000|
|Number of employees||200|