From an interior design perspective, the floor plan is the decisive basis for a functioning and effective working environment. As in this case, the parameters can be favorably located, since the building in question is a roughly 1,700-square-meter office floor with windows on all sides at the Munich headquarters of the BSH Group. Accessible via two development cores, its E-shape offers an ideal opportunity for internal spatial differentiation.
BSH Hausgeräte GmbH as the user and its planners, Schmidhuber Future Work, developed an idea for the floor that specifically harmonizes with the character of the company, namely to design the floor as a Future Work environment for employees in the form of a “Branded Office Space”. This reflects the four brands offered worldwide, whose household appliances are produced by BSH – a geography, as it were, in which technical expertise, innovation and design aspirations become living spaces.
The goal is to strengthen encounters and collaboration. In the center, surrounded by the offices of the Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff associate teams, there is now a “Branded Core” accessible to all, formed by four “Touchpoints”. Here, the brands become inviting hosts – in each case incorporating the global corporate identity – and support identification with them.
These lively contact spheres are the “Bosch Community Hub,” the “Siemens Café,” the “Gaggenau Winebar,” and the “Neff meet + greet.” Of course, all built-in appliances such as cooling systems or cooking islands come from the respective product portfolio. The appearance of the office setting is supported both semantically and visually by brand collages of graphics, light frames and typography on the walls. They combine with the multimedia equipment.
The expanded space program includes meeting islands directly assigned to the workstations and acoustically separated seating niches, as well as retreat areas such as the “Public Library. The “Think Tanks” are intended to provide communicative and creative support; their appearance in the Office Space with green glass surfaces invites people to use them. Here, a variety of flexible seating and working positions are offered, which are particularly suitable for cross-team meetings or customer workshops. Necessary work materials and media technology are integrated for quick access. A workspace “Invented for life” – as they say at Bosch.
What do you consider to be the fundamental qualities of a good workplace?
Schmidhuber: In addition to the technical-functional aspects, I believe the quality of a workplace lies in the balance between intimacy and openness. At best, concentrated work and teamwork should be possible without major changes to the environment. This creates a connection with the workplace through its use in different situations. Of course, diverse spaces are necessary for fundamentally different requirements. Nevertheless, I think that a fundamental acceptance of new working environments is related to a familiarity of the working environment.
Do you see any comparability in room design for living and for working?
Because of the change in the work environment in the wake of the pandemic, people have become accustomed to the home as a workplace. Coffee tastes familiar, the desk is familiar, and food can be prepared in-house. There is certainly potential here that can be transferred to future workplace planning in a company. Approximating the room design to a “home like environment” situation can certainly quite clearly create the feel-good moment and thus a more concentrated and productive environment. At the same time, a home-like design promotes a relaxed and familiar atmosphere.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the decisive ones in the future development of workspaces?
Certainly, one of the keys lies in a functioning and seamless integration of hybrid working into the workplace at home and the workplace in the company. Integrating colleagues from the home office into the work processes in the office and vice versa is probably one of the biggest tasks to be solved in terms of technology and processes.
|Client||BSH Hausgeräte GmbH|
|Architects||Schmidhuber Future Work GmbH|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||1.700|
|Number of employees||62.000|