It all began when GOLDBECK, a client and internationally active construction company with numerous locations, wanted to bring its exhibition hall in Hirschberg an der Bergstraße into the new era – integrated into a comprehensive working environment concept. The basis for the planning by the in-house designers in 2021 was the experience gained during the corona phase with well-functioning work processes.
These had positively included mobile work, homework, digitization, but also health aspects and work-life balance. According to the planners, the new idea for a future-oriented togetherness at the company’s location in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg consisted of a change from a “remodeling project” to a “rethinking project.” It was important to give space to the above-mentioned elements of a new type of corporate culture.
Since the hall did not have to accommodate desk-based workspaces, the location proved particularly suitable for this purpose. The aim was to promote agility and well-being among employees, to take into account community experiences as well as individual preferences, and to realize a productive as well as healthy mix of work and everyday life at the location.
To this end, exhibition areas and a former canteen were removed from the existing hall and a new functional configuration was designed. As if in an architectural landscape, a wide variety of usage zones are now placed there, accompanied by a small outdoor terrace and a landscaped courtyard area with a planked seating island. For mobile work with laptop and cappuccino, there are lounge areas in the hall as well as comfortable retreat possibilities on the second level on the lounge gallery.
For events of all kinds, a stage is available that opens onto the central “plaza”. It is also the new canteen, served by an open “food corner”, above all the high open-plan space flooded with daylight and planted with greenery. The most elaborate new feature is the “Fitness Garage”, which not only serves for work-out, but is also to be creatively associated with trainings, workshops or team-buildings.
As a designer, how would you define the term “New Work” briefly and succinctly?
Katharina Schöler: For us, new work means work-life blending and not balance, since work and life should form a meaningful whole. I stand behind my tasks, can identify with them, contribute my personality and, in the best case scenario, do things I do at home in the office – since we are increasingly taking the office home with us. New Work also means making each office an individual, “tailor-made” suit – “one size fits all” won’t work. Therefore, the path from the first rethinking to the finished space is a very intensive one, but nevertheless a very rewarding one.
There is currently a lot of talk about sustainability: Do you have a basic approach to this?
We understand sustainability as a triad of ecology, economy and social issues. Climate protection is our most urgent task, but we must not neglect the other two areas. Sustainability does not stand on its own; instead, it must be an integral part of all issues and projects – from reworking the smallest component to optimizing production and logistics processes to the food served in our own canteens. From fiscal year 2023/24 onwards, we want to be CO2-neutral in terms of our balance sheet at company level – and we want to do this throughout Europe.
Is it possible to respond to the home office trend in office design, or should a clear distinction be made between private and office interiors?
A good response to the home office trend is not only necessary, but indispensable. The office takes on a new role: because it is now no longer just the workplace where I sit at my desk for eight hours, but rather the place where I meet people in person, where ideas grow and innovations are created, where I work on my tasks and projects in a flexible and self-determined manner. The current drivers of change demand and encourage a flexible working environment and our task as designers is to show customers the opportunities and added value of New Work. And what better way to convey this authentically than by drawing on our own experiences.
|Client||GOLDBECK Südwest GmbH|
|City||Hirschberg an der Bergstraße|
|Architects||GOLDBECK Südwest GmbH|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||1.741|
|Number of employees||660|