Office Brick

Design archwerk GmbH
Location Herford, Germany
Modern brick building culture including café, creative lab and co-working spaces: this workplace has a lot to offer.

Probably the best-known area in Herford, East Westphalia, is the former industrial quarter near the railway station, where the architecturally spectacular Marta Art Museum took up residence, opposite the modernised listed building of the Elsbach shirt factory, which dates from the 1920s. An inspiring location, then, for a new, four-storey office building. The planners decided on a context-sensitive appearance for the exterior and chose the regionally typical brick building culture, which also takes up references to the neighbouring museum.


The orange-red bricks at the front of the building used with manganese inclusions, which are sprinkled in before the firing process, were specially produced in Denmark. An original and yet authentic decorative effect is created by the way they are laid: in the base area, the ground floor, they are set conventionally and appear smooth; in the layers above, up to the roof, the bricks are turned and show the inverted mortar pocket. The projecting canopies made of steel plates and the black window frames reinforce the industrial character.


Different functions and user groups were taken into account, so that the building consciously places itself in a lively and open way in the quarter characterised by culture and commerce: a public café with a multifunctional lobby, a lounge, office and five conference areas as well as co-working areas and a creative lab. The desired quality of stay is also spread in this way: communication and movement in the lobby used for concerts or lecture events on the one hand, flexible co-working offers for freelancers and service providers as well as concentrated meeting or individual work zones on the other.


A key planning element was the holistic sustainable energy concept to reduce lifecycle costs: Electricity generation by photovoltaics, heating and cooling by deep geothermal energy – eleven boreholes at a depth of 100 metres -, ventilation with a heat recovery of up to 90 percent, etc. A central control system based on the position of the sun moves the shading systems automatically, but each window can also be operated individually in a user-friendly way. The lighting is controlled via Bluetooth, whereby the light colour or special light scenarios can be set floor by floor from the iPad.

"The building shows my attitude towards architecture."
— Karsten Monke

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

Karsten Monke / archwerk: First and foremost, workplace ergonomics, room acoustics and lighting quality determine the quality of a workplace. In addition, there is the interaction of daylight, visual relationships to the inside and outside and the interior design quality of the space.

Do you see any comparability between interior design for living and for working?

The interior design requirements for a workplace have changed significantly in recent years. In the meantime, the focus is on designing an overall concept that has the design and spatial qualities of living spaces, rather than just the functional fulfilment of workplaces. Areas for informal exchange, places of retreat for concentrated work (especially in open-plan structures), areas for temporary work and less static meeting areas are components of these concepts. Overall, the spaces should be more flexible in design, more situational in adaptation and more homely.

Which material-related aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?

Sustainability, ecology, warmth, lighting mood, room acoustics and haptics are aspects that are very important. Natural materials will and must come more into focus again.

ClientLana Holding GmbH
Architectsarchwerk GmbH
CompletionDecember 2020
Project typeNew Buliding
Gross floor area m22.010
Number of employees-
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-

Floor Plans

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