It is often criticized that terms like “innovative” or “creative” are used too often. This is even more true of the word “new. However, unlike the first two words, this one is by no means vague, but quite clearly defined. And therein lies the obligation of New Work concepts. Anyone who uses this as a label has done a lot of things differently and installed a new working world – like the real estate developer UBM Development AG, when its UMB-internal department sat down with the architect Andreas Burghardt to discuss the design of its Vienna headquarters. The planning dealt with 116 stationary workstations, after all.
So the company, whose strategic focus is not without reason on green building and smart office, restructured. A new, smart office world in a building complex consisting of four basement floors and nine upper floors: Four wings of different sizes sit on several floors around an inner courtyard.
In the context of the restructuring, the “living lab” with innovative work zones and flexibly usable room areas moved in on the 7th floor. On the 6th floor, the fixed standard workstations and meeting rooms are now supplemented by additional, openly designed project work areas and zones with “Quiet Booths”. These allow both concentrated activities and longer phone calls without impacting the open office. Non-routine working methods are to be allowed to develop here; the exchange of information has its place, as does individual retreat.
Also innovative are multifunctional floor plan areas, whose names indicate the portfolio of functions: “Creative Zone,” “Casual Meeting Zone,” “Focus Zone” and “Work Zone,” where temporary workstations are located. For spontaneous meetings and informal exchanges, but above all for presentations or lectures, the “Arena”, a small tribune consisting of seating steps, is ideal. The overall aesthetic emphasizes brightness, lightness and stimulating light quality. Glazed partition walls, white ceilings and a light design thus strive not only for the “smart”, but also for the “work-life balance”.
What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?
Thomas G. Winkler: The main qualities of a workplace are that you feel permanently comfortable, that it meets all the latest functional and ergonomic requirements, and that it satisfies aesthetic demands that are also consistent with corporate identity.
Do you see any comparability in interior design for living and for working?
In the pandemic, the home became the workplace. Now the workplace is becoming the living space. It must be able to compete with and offer the benefits of working from home. An office without a couch is therefore just as unimaginable as the absence of retreats or socializing spaces.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
The workspace of the future is zoned for the respective current demand: Creative zones for the optimal exchange of ideas – Comfort zones for relaxation or networking – Work zones with defined workstations – Focus zones for undisturbed, concentrated work – Essential zones from the reception to the copier room
|Client||UBM Development AG|
|Architects||Arch. Dipl. Ing. Andreas Burghardt; UBM intern|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||3.828|
|Number of employees||134|