Surrounded by a monolithic green front, the spectacular Kö-Bogen II building is located on Düsseldorf’s Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. Accessed by a separate entrance and two separate elevators, the users of the Workspace and their visitors reach the 3rd floor. There and on the 4th floor of the building, the headquarters of Gerchgroup AG resides on 1,800 square meters. The floors, which within the complex volumetry of the architecture are to be thought of as horizontal slices, each with an individual outline, and which integrate two inner courtyards, create two slightly differently shaped areas – moreover with different floor proportions – which were to be designed by archwerk.
The concept dedicates the 3rd floor to work, both in a concentrated and communicative form: self-contained office spaces from one to four workstations – partly via glass system partitions in visual exchange -, supplemented by various meeting areas such as an open space zone, seating niches promoting dialogue or open lounge areas for communal use. In addition, there are separate room types such as meeting rooms for meetings or video conferences and a multitude of telephone boxes.
The inner courtyard and the surrounding roof terrace also provide individual break and communication areas. The program is completed by a high-quality equipped employee kitchen. It is in contact with the open lounge and bistro area, which has a seating step system – the so-called marketplace. From here, an internal steel staircase leads up to the reception level on the 4th floor. Here, on the one hand, there is another work area with a single office and two offices for four people and an associated meeting room, and on the other hand, there is the boardroom and an area for customer events.
On offer are a “boardroom” for exclusive meetings, an “owner’s room” as a workplace for the shareholders, a show kitchen for events and cooking events, a wine library, a bar and a dining room, the space of which is zoned with shoji elements. Here, productive activity can be skillfully combined with sensual experience. Succinctly used interior details, a ceiling elegantly drawn into the darkness, and a sophisticated lighting design support this.
As a designer, how would you briefly and succinctly define the term “New Work”? Karsten
Monke: New Work describes a modern, agile form of working and offers differentiated workplaces for more flexibility in everyday office life. Digital transformation and spaces for short meetings, communicative exchange and focused work form the core of this form of work.
There is currently a lot of talk about sustainability: Do you have a basic approach to this?
Sustainable design is characterized by the use of long-term, high-quality materials that are natural wherever possible and that both conserve resources and allow flexible reuse or recycling (cradle to cradle). Reducing waste in the building process, for example in packaging materials, is also an important factor for us.
Is it possible to respond to the home office trend in office design, or should there be a clear separation between private and office interiors?
Office design is already responding to the home office trend: Developments show that fewer permanently assigned workstations are being made available (“desk sharing”) and that employees are being offered additional facilities in the form of lounge areas, open-space areas with focus workstations and meeting areas, and/or after-work events in a homelike atmosphere.
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