The Technical Inspection Agency, TÜV, is one of the largest German institutions. All citizens know it; we entrust it with our safety in many technical matters. However, it may be less well known that it is also a major provider of numerous training and further education courses.
One of these training centres is the TÜV SÜD Academy Mannheim, housed in a building from the 1970s. Its newly furnished working and training world begins in the centre of the floor, whose ground plan is longitudinal and spreads out slightly to the northwest.
The corporate colour familiar to all of us from the octagonal test mark, the TÜV blue, is already encountered by employees and customers at the entrance. In a pleasant combination with the accompanying colours of the interior – ochre yellow and anthracite – it can be found everywhere and locates the users of the floor. In addition to light-giving white, the coloured walls and floors are accompanied above all by the natural tone of the wood used in many positions.
Wooden floors and panelling, cocoon-like wooden booths and, above all, slatted walls have a soothing influence on the room atmosphere. They are particularly effective in the central circulation and communication zone of the floor.
While two sides of the floor to the south are occupied by back offices and two sides to the north, as well as the large central area, are occupied by rather plain seminar areas, it is precisely here that the focus is on welcoming, accommodating and comfortably providing for users. A WC and a sanitary core are inserted like islands. A spacious cafeteria serves as a break area.
The movement typical of a training centre – also intellectually important – is reflected in the motif of the gently swinging line, which manifests itself in the balanced alternation of the floor surfaces made of woven vinyl carpet, wood and high-quality linoleum or the wall courses, but also in combined colour fields or the differentiated ceiling design. Distributed round ceiling lights, playfully placed colour elements, even the selectively installed wall beds contribute to the lively concept. In addition, the elaborately composed design of this central zone with microspaces and recognisable places serves as orientation and wayfinding.
Do you see any comparability in interior design for living and for working?
Birgit von Moltke: Good design, no matter for which areas, must be meaningful and address people emotionally! In the working world, customers and employees also want to be addressed emotionally. If offices are designed sterilely, “human nature” reclaims the “uninhabitable space”! We all know offices that have been conquered by the user. Then it is difficult for the management to put a stop to it. Of course, it must be possible for the user to “live on” the interior design. Become their own! It is important to set a framework for this – with good interior design in terms of colour, form and function – both in living and in working.
Which functional aspects are decisive for you in the future development of the Workspaces?
After two years of pandemic, there is a need for “back to the office”, but please not like “before”! We see the issue of fundamentals as a great opportunity for companies to consistently implement the mobile, agile and digitalised work processes in workspace design. Marketing companies do an excellent job in image design. Leading companies have long understood that the translation of this image must also be reflected in the space design. The logical conclusion: how consistent and authentic am I as a company in implementing the interior design in terms of the new work processes?
Which material-related aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?
“Sustainability” must be decisive for the materiality of the future design. The task is to create a sound basis for the future from an empty phrase and to educate building owners. The fact that there is a collective interest in converting buildings, in saving resources, pleases us as specialists in building in the existing fabric. However, new standards must be created in the area for conversions. An exciting and great task. Our motivation: We are allowed to plan as planners! We are convinced that this change towards other materials is also an opportunity for the indoor climate. Our vision: Feel sustainability in the future workspaces!
|Client||TÜV SÜD AG|
|Architects||von Moltke InnenArchitekten|
|Project type||Reconstruction/ Modernisation|
|Gross floor area m2||1.260|
|Number of employees||210|