In describing their concept of Drees & Sommer’s “New Work Innovation Hub” in Munich-Obersendling, the designers deliberately refer to urban planning with the terms used in their presentation. The 3,600-square-metre premises on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a free-standing office building are of course considerable, and the number of employees working there for a consultancy firm for the construction and real estate sector, 280, also clearly exceeds the average.
This alone creates a certain urbanity, considering the variety of functions, the user frequency and the activity potential. “Every office is a small town.
A contemporary workspace was to be created on the two floors with their double-T-shaped floor plan. Due to the economic distribution of the many fixed workplaces, which mostly had to be organised in a four-table configuration along the sides of the windows, the emphasis on the centrally running access axes in the sense of road trains was obvious.
The requirement that employees should be able to choose their workplace had to be taken into account. Urban mobility in the space is thus supported, complemented by the shared spaces principle and the flanking places for communication and collaboration. Just like smaller room units for meetings or presentations, which are closed off for acoustic reasons, they give the sequence of serial desk workplaces a rhythm.
Contacts and synergies should arise beyond the everyday team discussions. To this end, further zonally and atmospherically differentiated elements were added: a dynamising use of the traffic routes in the sense of passages, a central marketplace surrounded by meeting and conference rooms, focus rooms and a library for individual retreats, a pocket park, the studio, etc. The rooms and zones can be booked on the basis of digital tools, and the utilisation and current occupancy can be tracked and evaluated digitally.
Rooms and zones can be booked on the basis of digital tools, and the utilisation and current occupancy can be tracked and evaluated digitally. The aspect of environmentally conscious design was not neglected either: the area-by-area control of lighting by means of sensor beacons saves energy. Materials and furnishings were selected according to the “cradle to cradle” design principle.
What do you consider to be the main qualities of a good workplace?
Drees & Sommer: A good workplace is characterised by a variety of options. Like a small town, an office has a variety of highly specialised offerings that create the appropriate setting for individual tasks: the library and the studio, the workshop and the kiosk. Everything is there for everyone and is shared. With daylight and green spaces, the invitation to move around and many opportunities to meet intentionally or by chance.
What functional aspects do you see as crucial in the future development of the workspaces?
The office has lost its pole position in the wake of the Corona pandemic and must first reassert itself between home office, third place and workation. But as a touchpoint to the brand and a filling station for identity, it cannot be surpassed. That’s why brand values and corporate culture must be perceptible and tangible in the spaces. And as much space as possible must be made available to the community in order to strengthen psychological well-being through emotional bonding. The bottom line is that we cannot and do not want to consider the question of function independently of emotion.
Which material-related aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?
Anyone who does not act planet-centric now has not understood the signs of the times, which is why sustainability is at the centre of our projects. We are guided by the cradle-to-cradle design principle, in which all products and materials are understood as raw materials within a cycle. Along these guidelines, we pay attention to the absence of pollutants and material purity, short distances and sustainable production processes. Design and planning are flanked by alternative mobility and food concepts, because environmental and climate protection only work holistically.
|Client||Drees & Sommer|
|Architects||Drees & Sommer|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||4.200|
|Number of employees||280|