New Work is more than a buzzword of the positive reform movement in working environments. It includes a working environment with a diverse range of different space modules, high-quality design and a customized concept that is able to respond to both small and comprehensive changes in the requirements profile. The new Frankfurt location of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket is presented and honored here as exemplary, with office space in the order of about 6,000 square meters spread over three H-shaped floors in an existing building at Gateway Gardens, including several special areas such as a conference zone, reception area, product showroom, and a group area for members of the executive board.
New Work is also not simply conceived at the planning table, but is the result of elaborate analysis and multilateral exchange. The interior design firm Drees & Sommer initially relied on the in-house New Work Guideline of the client, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG. Thanks to its company-wide validity, this guideline has the advantage of effective applicability even in existing situations and also ensures recognition through homogenized corporate spaces.
A productive discourse then began with an interdisciplinary team of designers, change management consultants, engineering consultants and project managers. The employees were also involved in the process of changing their working environment, and it made sense for them to be involved in the actual design of the space. This facilitated the new approach and led to a high level of acceptance.
The result was a multi-space concept in the form of a variable range of different work areas in open and closed room modules. An economizing desk-sharing program with a sharing ratio of 0.6 – i.e. six workstations for every ten employees – organizes the use of space and the presence of the workforce. All participants were impressed by the interplay between the open and closed zones, each of which can be specifically equipped for individual retreats, collaboration, and team and project areas.
As designers, how would you define the term “New Work” briefly and succinctly?
Giulio Castegini / Christopher Hestermann: For us, the term New Work describes not only a change in the design of an office property, but above all a socio-cultural change of the users within the working world.
There is currently a lot of talk about sustainability: Do you have a basic approach to this?
Sustainability is a basic requirement of our designs today and no longer just an add-on.
Is it possible to respond to the home office trend in office design, or should we make a clear distinction between private and office interiors?
In terms of design and concept, a separation between working at home and working in the office is urgently needed: Here, privacy and the personal count above all; there, corporate culture and sharing count. Ideally and organizationally, however, the home office is an inseparable part of the New Work concept: True to the motto “Every user needs a small town,” it should be an equally important option as a third place.
|Client||Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG|
|City||Frankfurt am Main|
|Architects||Drees & Sommer SE|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||6.000|
|Number of employees||400|