Good taste

Design a+r Architekten
Location Desenzano, Italy
A suitable office space in the context of its company locations.


A company like the Dr.-Oetker Group, which markets a wide range of products internationally, naturally also needs suitable office space in the context of its company locations. A+r Architekten designed such a new head office building in Desenzano on Lake Garda, where the Cameo brand is at home, for communication and administrative tasks.

Completed in 2017, the complex consists of a two-story “mall” that serves Cameo for brand and product presentation and as a reception area. The emphatically windowed façade articulation plays on the C as the brand logo, which is intended to be recognizable in the white concrete prefabricated elements of the frame grid. As a wing connecting with the production halls to the north, it takes over the traffic routing between production and administration, offers directly accessible project and meeting facilities, and dedicates one half of its airy, bright volume at full building height to the foyer as a reception, communication and presentation area. From here, the main building, which is located to the south, can be entered directly in its access core, so that above all the employees of the administration can easily reach their offices on the three upper floors.

Daylight and “satisfied expressions”

The first floor itself serves – what could be more obvious in such a company – mainly the physical well-being and distributes kitchen, canteen, the Italian espresso bar and a directly connected event area on its area, combined with a south-facing outdoor terrace. Cleverly positioned, the atrium, which begins on the 1st floor and is flooded with daylight, combines several functions at once.

In addition to supplying daylight to the center of the rectangular building box, it offers visual relationships in the three-dimensional workspace and its own planted lounge area. The supply areas and decentralized meeting points set up on the levels are used by everyone; they are surrounded by open-space zones, individual offices and “concentration boxes”. And how do the employees at headquarters feel about this? A Dr. Oetker slogan from 1957 probably fits: “Zufriedene Mienen danken es Ihnen!” (Satisfied expressions thank you!).

"The ensemble of the new administration building and the Cameo Mall as a connecting building to the existing production building forms the new face of the Cameo company on Lake Garda."
— a+r Architekten

What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?

Oliver Braun: The assumption implicit in the question that there is only “one” workplace in each case has been disproved with Corona at the latest. Home offices have become an integral part of our working world, and the demands placed on workplaces in office buildings have changed dramatically. The qualities of a good workplace are much more related to the task at hand. For concentrated work, the study or kitchen table in the home office may be the first choice, whereas project work in a team works better in an open-plan space within the office. A good workplace must therefore be able to do what the work in question requires at any given time. For modern office buildings, this means that in addition to classic desk workstations, a wide range of different work situations must be available.

Do you see any comparability in the design of rooms for living and for working?

The office must be a place where I feel comfortable; ultimately, the same requirements should apply as for living. When it comes to room design, the same three core criteria such as good lighting, good sunlight, good room climate and acoustics are therefore at the forefront at the beginning. These aspects should be achieved primarily in a natural way, without too many technical measures. We are increasingly noticing the importance of the room height factor in this context. At room heights above the normative requirement, the three criteria seem to regulate themselves to a certain extent and contribute to a pleasant atmosphere. Good room design therefore starts with both living and working, with the building structure and with the floor plan orientation.

Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most decisive in the future development of Workspaces?

When it comes to the further development of workspaces, in addition to the question of good room design, aspects such as the identification of employees with the corporate culture, the company idea and the importance of their own esteem will increasingly come into play in the future. The office is becoming a place of identification, inspiration and exchange. Since technical possibilities mean that actual work is no longer tied to a place and time, future workspaces will have to offer much more than pure workplaces do today. The office must be so attractive to employees that people want to be in this place. In the future, this will mean that we will increasingly have to develop a concept for a suitable work environment that is individually designed for each user. Standardized solutions therefore work less and less.

ClientCameo S.p.A.
Architectsa+r Architekten
CompletionMarch 2017
SectorFood and beverage industry
Project typeNew Buliding
Gross floor area m25.150
Number of employees-
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-

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