The coexistence of all functions in one building block not only poses challenges for architectural planning. It also means that the interior design of the administrative and common areas for employees has to meet two requirements: It must structurally compartmentalize in order to enable concentrated and effective work, and it should form a human atmosphere of the overall complex in order to be able to offer the appropriate New Work quality to all participants there.
The headquarters of Chemoform AG in Wendlingen am Neckar uses a decades-old existing building, which was largely rebuilt in 2019 by Kauffmann Theilig & Partner – also using demolition material – and enabled for a productive combination of several fields of activity. On a nearly square floor plan, an attractively drawn hall building now develops with an independent appearance: transparent glass fronts on the first floor and an anthracite-colored base in the area of the closed facades, above all, high, transverse white skylight boxes with sides made of translucent polycarbonate panels.
Thanks to the strong structural design, it is possible to harmoniously combine, in a functional and formal manner, a rear high-bay warehouse, a logistics hall dominating the area with seven truck loading ramps, and a three-story administration center placed in the corner of the building. The aesthetics of the logistics hall, with its almost untreated wood panels and visible wooden supporting structure, extends partially into the administrative areas, linking their work processes with the activities of goods handling in a way that is comprehensible to the senses.
However, the formal language of the work zone on the second floor, which is mostly conceived as an open space, is characterized by a cool tempered design in cleverly distributed shades of gray and blue. The second floor is dedicated to the well-being of the users: on the one hand with a light-flooded canteen, on the other with a fitness room. Two atriums and a small roof terrace provide space for regeneration and vitalization between meetings, training sessions in the lecture hall on the first floor, or intensive telephone calls – as is the case in day-to-day business.
What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?
Andreas Theilig: A good workplace combines the demands of balanced acoustics, controllable daylight and good internal communication with a comfortable atmosphere of the space. Additional offerings such as a canteen, fitness and outdoor spaces – as in our project – also increase the attractiveness and create interfaces for all employees.
Do you see any comparability in room design for living and for working?
Home office and officehome: Here, the desire for a homelike working atmosphere of the workplace with high stay qualities is reflected, of course, especially where the work process makes this possible.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the decisive ones in the future development of workspaces?
Workplace landscapes with differentiated offerings, spatial requirements and a renunciation of visible internal hierarchies are required. Flexible and convertible workplaces must also be created in order to be able to react to changing conditions, but without – which is our claim – making this constraint spatially tangible.
|City||Wendlingen am Neckar|
|Architects||Kauffmann Theilig & Partner, Freie Architekten PartGmbB; DW Doris Wolfart|
|Project type||New Buliding|
|Gross floor area m2||9.860|
|Number of employees||110|