The new use of an attic always has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, closed roof surfaces and small windows allow only little daylight and a rather scanty view; on the other hand, it is precisely there that one finds the most atmospheric cubatures – with slopes, offsetting floor plans and beams protruding into the room.
In the case shown here, the roof sits on a historic, 130-year-old villa with green surroundings and close to the river, a tributary of the Ruhr. From its former drying loft and warehouse, a 500 square metre workplace floor was created, which was upgraded to contemporary standards by means of energy-efficient thermal insulation and a cooling system covering the entire area. The area of the building level consists of a large square with an edge length of 18 metres as well as a 14-metre extension that sits at the northern corner of the building. The staircase and the toilets are located there.
The configuration of the most diverse rooms now housed on this 3rd floor is conceptually called “L.O.F.T.” by the planners, which is a good illustration of the organisational and functional arrangement.
In principle, the zones – apart from a large, self-contained office space above the annex – are arranged around a central middle space under the villa’s flat roof, which is lit by a skylight. The creative planning and project areas, which were designated “L – Living”, were given warm-tone light and selective colour accents. A calmer ambience is also supported by invisible sound insulation.
Single or double workstations – all in all, a flexible and modular concept is pursued – are located in the white-painted “O – Office” above the annexe and enable work there in individual and introverted concentration. Acoustic sails, wall and integral absorbers were used.
The special areas for communication and collaboration are grouped under “F – Future” and offer a library and regeneration areas.
Finally, in the “T – Testlab”, the user offering office planning enables his customers to “experience, feel and grasp” through the experience of a reverberation time reduction or the use of a virtual reality cinema. Materials used on the floor and walls such as artificial turf, carpet tiles or effect plasters complement the exhibition programme.
What do you consider to be the supporting qualities of a good workplace?
Connect Sense GmbH: The most important characteristics of a good workplace are defined by the needs and necessities of the users. A good working environment is not only characterised by good air quality, modern technical equipment or natural lighting. True to our guiding principle “with sense(s) and understanding”, it is important to develop an employee experience, e.g. in the form of emotionalising spaces for meeting and communicating, through opportunities for retreat and recreation, and through other incentives such as healthy dining options.
Which functional aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?
In the post-pandemic era, workspaces must increasingly meet hybrid demands: Intuitive IT in combination with room and workspace booking systems, good acoustic conditions for video conferencing – ideally in multifunctional rooms – are a must.
Which material-related aspects are decisive for you in the future development of workspaces?
The increased demands on hygiene and ecology will remain. Easily washable and cleanable materials, antiviral surfaces, etc. will be increasingly used.
|Architects||Connect Sense GmbH|
|Project type||Modification / Reconstruction|
|Gross floor area m2||500|
|Number of employees||12|