Two levels, two worlds, that’s how one could describe the new Lechwerke AG premises on Augsburg’s Königsplatz designed by Ott Architekten. On closer inspection, however, the symbiosis of the worlds becomes clear – actually even when you approach the eight-storey office building from the 1980s in which the two floors discussed here are located.
The starting point for the planning was the goal of a contemporary networking of customer contact and administration, which ultimately resulted in three elements of the conversion concept: Customer area, working environment, place of communication. An overarching language of form and colour was to generate a cohesive appearance, address customers and employees of the energy supplier in the same way and create a striking ambience both in daylight and in the dark.
It all starts with the artistically designed forecourt. Huge pebbles and an abstracted riverbed characterise it: the Lech makes a strong contribution to energy generation with its water power. Before you enter through a metal portal with floral ornaments, the two levels on the ground floor and the 1st floor already reveal themselves through the full glazing. The reception, information and experience area on the entrance floor was designed as a multimedia interactive customer centre and features the theme “Renewable Energies”. Fresh green and blue tones were chosen as the supporting colours of the “LEW Energiewelt”.
Accessed via a rear, non-public staircase and connected by means of the air space in the entrance area, the “LEW working world” develops on the first floor. Here, the unifying colour and material language is continued and complemented by natural oak surfaces and sound-absorbing textile coverings.
Following the idea of the office of the future, the company had a working landscape developed in which the various functions are distributed loosely, but in a space-economical coordination with the 22 fixed workplaces. A workshop arena, conference lounges and meeting points are offered. In the flowing open-plan space, the zoning is achieved by means of architecturally appearing balustrades and half-height wall panels. For relaxation, one can also go downstairs, where a publicly accessible espresso bar connected to the customer area promises refreshment.
What do you consider to be the supporting qualities of a good workplace?
Peter Greggenhofer, OTT ARCHITEKTEN: In the LEW Energiewelt project, the supporting quality lies not only in the latest technical equipment but also in the diversity of the spatial offer and the numerous visual relationships. Open-space workplaces, meeting lounges, niches for concentrated solo work and a kitchenette are grouped around the “arena”, the multifunctional meeting space, on a compact footprint.
Do you see any comparability in the spatial design for living and for working?
The central theme of our architecture is the creation of living spaces. We spend a large part of our time working, the boundaries are fluid. The ambience is significant for our ability to concentrate, motivate and be creative. Individual needs vary greatly: sometimes we need a protected retreat for contemplation, other times a stage for lively communication. Just like in a well-designed home, a working environment must meet the different needs while skilfully combining them.
Which functional aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?
Flexibility is the trump card. However, I don’t see the much-publicised “flex office” with its “hot seat” model as the non plus ultra of our future working world. The combination of personal, stationary workplaces that are permanently “occupied” by employees and highly flexible workplaces that are controlled via a digital booking system makes more sense in the long term. Of course, many technical necessities go hand in hand with this. But the acceptance of the employees must not fall by the wayside.
|Client||Lechwerke AG Augsburg|
|Architects||Ott Architekten Partnerschaft mbB|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||811|
|Number of employees||25|