The AOK is not only committed to the health of its members, as whose health insurance company it acts, but of course also to that of its employees. Accordingly, kplus konzept rethought the office interior for the Mönchengladbach branch of the AOK Rheinland/Hamburg and cast it in a form that is up-to-date in terms of interior design and also enables adequate usability: mobile working in the sense of flexible interaction in the building, which facilitates collaboration and, above all, contact between consultants and customers via laptop and tablet. This was also taken into account in the new interior disposition of the floor plans: An open space offers freely selectable scenarios on an area of around 120 square meters – from group seminars and information lectures to individual discussions with customers, for which screened “consulting boxes” are available.
On the second floor, which also houses the back office, a seminar room measuring around 200 square meters, a conference room, a meeting room and a multifunctional room complement this offering. The flexible equipment with whiteboards, rolling stools and stacking chairs allows for the kind of spatial differentiation needed for courses and generally promotes creative and interactive collaboration.
A workstation with a long, specifically designed wooden table is ideal for team meetings – it integrates storage compartments and power sockets. The centrally located coffee point and a catering kitchen support the interior design, which is geared towards a relaxed working atmosphere.
The second, half-used upper floor of the compact building also strives to achieve a work-life balance in the building: a spacious Relax Lounge with sofas and beanbags as well as an upholstered seating niche and a table used as a dining table are part of the offer.
Their elaborate design certainly doesn’t do justice to the term “social spaces,” which is formulated with the understatement of the health insurance company. Indirect elements of the healthy workspace include sound-absorbing wall panels made of felt, a balanced color palette for wall surfaces, wood flooring and furniture, green plants and a wall of real plants, as well as sunlight guidance that is coordinated with natural biorhythms. Naturally, emphasis was placed on resource-saving materials and climate-friendly technologies in the design.
What do you consider to be the supporting qualities of a good workplace?
Bettina Kratz: Well-being, humanity, freedom. We often spend more time in the workplace with our colleagues than we do in our private lives with friends and family, so it’s all about quality of life. With laptops and tablets, everyone always has their desk with them anyway and is connected to the whole world in chats and e-meetings. So all the shackles of earlier workplace ideals – from the assembly line to the ego desk – have dissolved. Everyone should be able to find their favorite place in the workplace, even if it’s on the sofa or in a wing chair.
Do you see any comparability in room design for living and for working?
Recently, I first hung some wallpaper at a temporary standard workplace at a construction site, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to stand it there. I immediately felt better. We don’t want to have a separation between living and working anymore. Our aim is to create a homelike atmosphere for working in such a way that working time feels just as good as at home. The workspace becomes the living room and work is done in the living room. With a laptop at the kitchen table and the spinning bike in the living room. Why draw boundaries here!?
Which material-related aspects are the most important for you in the future development of the Workspaces?
We focus on sustainable aspects and excellent lighting technology, which has a massive influence on a healthy, good feeling of well-being at the workplace. It has been proven that Human Centric Lighting increases efficiency. Employees are not as tired after hours as they would be if the lighting level remained the same all day. We give preference to resource-efficient materials of regional origin or from recycling processes, as well as “healthy”, acoustically effective materials. Selection criteria are freedom from pollutants, emissions, service life, recyclability, etc.
|Client||AOK Rheinland / Hamburg|
|Architects||kplus konzept GmbH|
|Project type||New Buliding|
|Gross floor area m2||1.595|
|Number of employees||42|