The complex interior design of this project is a striking illustration of how good interior design can develop from the normative facts of a building and the company’s history. The head office of the Ippolito Fleitz Group with its international and multidisciplinary team has grown continuously in recent years, moving from floor to floor within the old building.
The floors of a former laundry in the west of Stuttgart were adapted for this purpose with precisely placed changes and furnishings. The heterogeneous room layouts with different ceiling heights and an access core including a load-bearing inner wall resisted a homogeneous floor area and not only proved to be planning challenges, but also offered opportunities for the implementation of a spectrum of characteristic room types.
The large studio space on the lowest floor is dominated by a formally emphatically lively and antigeometrically organised plant landscape. Under a black ceiling, the white columns and the white suspended elements are optically isolated almost like a stage. A modular room filter called “ParaVert” for vertical planting is integrated and tested. The jungle-like ambience is complemented by a compactly furnished Material Lab. The chamber of wonders for inspiration combines magazine furniture and a workshop for the development of in-house prototypes.
Below the third level, dedicated to quiet work at small group tables, the middle floor develops the most intensive communicative dynamics. The large studio room is impressively bright. Two long workbenches flank it, and the decoratively suspended multi-coloured textile bands have a space-creating effect. A ceiling painting hovers above everything, subordinating itself to the subliminally homogenising black-and-white aesthetic.
Next door, the salon not only offers clients a detailed introduction to the attitude and competence of the designers, but also allows space for personal relaxation, lectures, training courses and office parties with a library, rest area, kitchen and communal area. Not to be forgotten: Individualised meeting facilities have been collaged into the ensemble, as it were, in the form of alcoves, furniture groups or standing meetings. Even the internal routing has been upgraded: Two spiral staircases speed up traffic and stimulate circulation and workflow.
What do you consider to be the fundamental qualities of a good workplace?
Peter Ippolito: Fundamentally, a good workplace is a place where I like to be, not a place where I have to be. This is the case when its design is authentically derived from the values and purpose of the company and makes them spatially tangible. When innovation and collaboration processes take place there that are integrated into the spirit and culture of the organisation and allow employees to participate in its landscape of meaning and values.
Do you see any comparability in space design for living and for working?
Clearly, workspace needs to be rethought for the home as well. How do we weave remote work into real floor plans, and how can we create typologies at home that make it possible to experience a flowing yet perceptible transition between living, working and leisure? There are many solutions for in-between spaces that avoid having the computer on the dining table. For this, we have to make furniture more flexible and create a minimum of discretion and ergonomic comfort even in a small space. For us as designers, this is an invitation to be creative and a great opportunity.
Which functional aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?
The office of tomorrow is a place where values and the meaningfulness of what is done there are negotiated. In photographs of new office projects, one rarely sees workplaces, but mostly lounges, cafeterias, communication spaces. This impressively reflects how the image of what we imagine work to be has changed. And also what functions the workplace has to fulfil. Today, we mainly organise communication instead of desks.
|Client||Ippolito Fleitz Group - Identity Architects|
|Architects||Ippolito Fleitz Group - Identity Architects|
|Project type||Reconstruction/ Modernisation|
|Gross floor area m2||1.060|
|Number of employees||60|