House in house

Design de Winder Architekten
Location Hamburg, Germany
The most important thing about work is its content. What is the content here, in a former factory building in Hamburg-Ottensen? The first prize of the year 2022 has a lot to offer.

This workspace was designed to complement the traditional Carlsen publishing house with over 70 employees. It is dedicated, among other things, to the comic heroes of our childhood: “Petzi”, “Tim und Struppi”, “Spirou” or the “Peanuts”.

The historical industrial flair of the existing building was conceptually transformed into a campus on several levels – in the sense of a participative working culture culture from the spatially stimulated encounters of the staff and interaction with external creatives and guests.
Taking up the dynamic new-work principle, the building is surrounded by two central zones that generate communication: the large hall developed from the industrial hall, and a 35-metre-long corridor that connects and circulates the hall.

This elements and the multitude of other rooms create tension and movement in the building. Different volumes, different surfaces and materials atmospheric qualities alternate. Where concentrated work zones are needed, office boxes have been placed to shield against the against the structural unrest in a controlled manner. In addition to the communal and more lively zone in the hall there are informal meeting options in the corridor. The ground floor is now characterised by deliberately offset workspaces.

The gallery level above was designed as an event area of approx. 230 square metres. It is meant to be a “marketplace”. Fixed workplaces are located next to the open space for the press and marketing team, complemented by a comfortable library area.

The glazed conference room presents itself as a “house within a house” and is accessible via a circumferential access corridor. The aesthetics plays with elements such as black steel, green industrial flooring, white light-reflecting walls and ceiling surfaces in addition to reddish contrasting elements, such as the versatile the versatile scaffolding of the hall. Atmospheric elements such as old switch levers and control panels or traces of earlier wall and window openings as well as remains of crane hoists were preserved.

"The different scales as well as the contrasts of materialities, surfaces and structures were always in the foreground of our design."
— de Winder Architekten GmbH

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

Klaus de Winder: Clearly light, air, atmosphere, distance and at the same time closeness to colleagues. A workplace should support flowing work processes and enable concentration and communication. All this must be taken into account when choosing materials, furnishings and defining room sizes. Of course, it is also about respect and identification (#purpose), compatibility and reuse.

Do you see any comparability in space design for living and for working?

Definitely, because both spatial designs are about quality of stay and equally always about scale, purpose, proportions, quality of space and materials. An office should function like a flat, with rooms of different use and different design. Rigid furniture systems with monocausal use have had their purpose in the working world and no longer support us in today’s work processes. In the pandemic period, increased home office has also shown us that even if privacy cannot be created in the office in the same way as at home, the office can be a place of retreat. The interior design of working environments must react to both tendencies, with atmospheric elements from the private living space. Conversely, my home must, in the best case, also enable remote work within my own walls.

Which functional and material-related aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?

The possibility of being able to spatially map different needs in individual and collective work processes as well as the purpose of creation clearly determines the development of office space concepts. In the working context, an unconditional variety of room sizes, different atmospheres, flexibility as well as the use of high-quality and sustainable materials play a major role, as haptics and sensory reactions are indispensable factors of spatial perception. The house must fit the function.

ClientCarlsen Verlag GmbH
Architectsde Winder Architekten GmbH
CompletionMay 2021
Project typeModernisation / Reconstruction
Gross floor area m21.423
Number of employees70
LightingMichael Schmidt Lichtplaner
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
TechnologyAkustikbüro Krämer & Stegmaier
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