Creative transparency

Design SEEBALD. Studio für Architektur & Gestaltung
Location Stuttgart, Germany
A place for presence, experiences and the neighborhood: This was one of the main goals for this workspace project.

On a prominent corner in a Stuttgart city centre quarter, the WERBEWELT agency found its new premises, or rather its three shops. The designers therefore had to deal with challenging but also very stimulating parameters – on the one hand, the completely glazed shop front facing the pavement and on the other hand the three-part, 466-square-metre office space.

Mixed use

An agile mixed-use concept was developed in which the areas present themselves as continuous open-plan spaces without the installation of partitioning walls: Shop 1 is primarily used for concentrated work, Shop 2 is suitable for meetings, and Shop 3 for presentations and events. Only the toilets remain separate.

The staff kitchen and individual office desks retreat into the background. Lockers for the personal belongings of the workplace make it possible to release the previously occupied desk and work in the home office for a while.

Flexibility and creativity

Basically it was possible to transfer the agency’s corporate principle into an interior concept that is explicitly close to the public. It was important to the clients to express flexibility and creativity, which is now reflected in the fact that the rooms can be divided by light curtains with different visual densities and textures or differentiated into specific inner zones. In this way, users can switch between two functional states, which are understood as “urban workspace” or “inspiring event space”, with just a few hand movements and in a thoroughly performative manner.

Employees are given greater peace and quiet for concentrated work or telephone calls, small groups can gather at one of the two conference tables and customer meetings are given an attractive upgrade when the light store is theatrically raised.

Design play

The eye-catching design play of the agency spaces is not only externally effective and entertaining, but also responds functionally to the demands. The use of a wide variety of furniture from past agency years offers users and clients specific atmospheres to choose from, creating small spatial experiences that stimulate communication. The alternating yellow foiled window surfaces not only have an attractive effect on the street space and create a recognition value for the location, they also reduce transparency and offer a sometimes necessary higher level of discretion.

"Together with SEEBALD. we have created a feel-good place where we can come together, hold meetings and informal gatherings, or simply retreat for a while. (...) We feel less like we are in an office and more like we are in a shop: We love that we are not spatially distanced, but retain a sense of life and the people who pass by our windows. We want to be involved in a lively city and open our doors to the neighbourhood in addition to our events (...)."
— Christoph Seebald, Wolfgang Benz

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

Theresia Saalbach: Besides the functional aspects and the feel-good factor, identification with one’s own working environment is important. The interior concept and furnishings not only have a representative function, but should also reflect the values and wishes, the philosophy of the company and its employees and thus give them a spatial home as well as a mental one.

Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?

Future-proof workspaces must provide an appropriate framework for the flexibilisation of the working world – home office, informal working, shared workplaces, etc.. At the same time, moving away from office cubicles and personal desk workplaces means creating new, temporary retreats. Likewise – as implemented at WERBEWELT with the employees’ personal lockers – space and possibility for the storage of personal utensils is then required.

Which material-related aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?

Advancing digitalisation, New Work and not least the pandemic increasingly require new spatial and design responses. Especially in the creative industry, informal, flexibly usable zones and multifunctional spaces have long since ceased to be a novelty. The WERBEWELT spaces in Stuttgart are characterised by different textile curtains that allow for different room divisions as well as gradual adjustment options or configurations from open to closed. In this way, the rooms offer a quick change from “urban workspace” to “inspiring event space

ArchitectsSEEBALD. Studio für Architektur und Gestaltung
CompletionDecember 2020
Project typeReconstruction/ Modernisation
Gross floor area m2519
Number of employees40
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
Best workspaces initiators