The building and its office world presented here is called LAB-3 and is located in Biebertal, Hesse. The owner, Inwerk Büromöbel, confronted himself with a deliberately diverse and demanding planning task in his concept, which was to fill the interior volume of the cube, equipped with an atrium, in a vital and inspiring way.
The number 3 of the LAB stands as a counter for the three decisive elements of the “Home of New Work”: Architecture, working environment and working culture, which is incidentally evaluated by monthly surveys. The elegant-technoid character of the architecture already offers a style specification in the first place, as it reflects the corporate design of Inwerk’s product range in terms of design.
2,500 square meters of space for approximately 60 team members from sales and marketing find their specifically defined place, flexible and easy to set up in terms of configuration and equipment – whoever wants to can stay in the home office for three days in hybrid operation.
All work locations are equipped with three monitors, all of which can be used via a docking station with the personal Surface. The multispace office landscape, developed together with the employees, functions without interior walls and without rigid zoning; the transparency-promoting walkways and visual axes enable random and fruitful encounters. Acoustically and partly also visually isolated working islands such as individual and team workstations as well as home bases are used, whereby the planning objective was that communication and concentrated thinking work can take place in direct proximity.
Since meeting in a professional space is one of the basic parameters of a creative office space, great emphasis was also placed on enabling it, which is evident in the arrangement of conference venues, the work café in the large hall space and the work garden located in the inner courtyard.
The design of the architecture and interior is significantly influenced by the multifunctional Masterbox® steel furniture system, which configures almost all of the office furniture. Sound-absorbing room systems, a staff kitchen with a restaurant-like ambience, and a sports room complete with table tennis table and basketball hoops strive to create stress resilience that is conducive to well-being.
What do you see as the supporting qualities of a good workplace?
Angela Helten: Digitization has a key function. As a result of the increase in hybrid concepts, workplaces in the office and home office must be made digitally fit to enable efficient work and collaboration – for example, with plug-and-play solutions for voting and video conferencing. All ergonomic criteria must also be met with height-adjustable desks, office chairs that promote movement, glare-free lighting and sound-absorbing acoustic elements. In addition, a good workplace should have aesthetic quality to inspire and motivate employees.
Do you see any comparisons in interior design for living and for working?
A homely feel to the office work environment increases the feel-good effect, which contributes significantly to motivation and willingness to perform. For example, comfortable lounges encourage communication, where chance encounters, even across departments, can spark ideas and solutions. Large offices without dividing walls, just like generously open living areas, generate a feeling of (freedom of) movement and inspire creative thinking better than demarcated spaces. Thanks to their size, they can be variably designed or redesigned and always adapted to changing needs.
Which functional aspects are the most important for you in the future development of workspaces?
For Inwerk as a developer, “healthy” working conditions are a priority, based on ergonomic furniture. Structurally, modern workspaces must be designed with teams in mind, because teamwork is more important than ever in many industries. With the help of acoustic shielding, zones for communication and collaboration can be located directly adjacent to workstations for concentrated quiet work in order to demonstrate the unity of teams. At the same time, it is important to make workspaces a place where people want to develop their full potential by giving them a homely feel.
|Project type||New Buliding|
|Gross floor area m2||2.500|
|Number of employees||115|