Design Seifermann
Location London, United Kingdom

Above London

We are located above London’s famous Paddington Station, on the 13th floor of a high-rise office block. The floor plan is simple: an elongated rectangle, at the back left the access core with lifts and stairs, to the side of which the toilets are connected, on the right the second stairwell. And “green” in between, as the clients and the planning office Seifermann Architects would say. Strangely worded, but justified, as the employer, Luxembourg-based JAB Holding, deliberately wanted to utilise the soul-stirring effect of plants to offer its pandemic-stricken employees a feel-good atmosphere in the noisy metropolis. The plants, which spread out like a lush carpet on the wall or fill room-dividing boxes, not only in the entrance area but also in other zones, not only ensure better humidity and sensory stimuli, but also play a valuable role in the design balance of the interior with their radiant greenery.

The plan

Wooden floors alternate with light carpets, and specially designed built-in furniture with wooden surfaces is used, which also made it possible to dispense with partition walls and the usual shelving and cupboards. The arrangement of individual offices, a large open-plan room, a conference room and the kitchenette along the outer walls provides these areas with light and views. However, as the floor space was to be fully utilised, the planners felt it was important to pay particular attention to the interior zone – in other words, to create high ceilings and introduce a large amount of daylight. This is because the undisturbed flow of space not only supports the visual harmonisation of the office world, but also serves the island-like positioning of the communication zones, structured with green troughs and integrated into the double columns of the architecture. Here, the view extends from the desk on the left to the workstation on the right and beyond – to the London skyline.

"The finished outcome was a great success and Markus and the whole Seifermann team were a pleasure to work with from the start to end of the project. Since completion of the project the team have still been very helpful with any ongoing questions we may have had."
— Joachim Creus, CEO JAB Holding

What do you think are the key qualities of a good workplace?
Markus Seifermann: A good workplace should offer different ways of working: alone in peace and quiet, together in a group, sitting, standing, etc. The individual zones should be clearly defined so that people can consciously seek out and use them depending on what is needed for the different activities. The individual zones should be clearly defined so that they can be consciously sought out and used depending on what is needed for the different activities. A playground-like gathering area should be avoided so that clearly defined areas are created. The zones should not interfere with each other, but enrich each other in their combination and usability.
Do you see any similarities in the interior design for living and working?
The “look & feel” of living spaces has already arrived in many other areas: in restaurants, hotels, even in hospitals. This also applies to modern workplaces. However, discussions with our customers have also shown that the home factor should not be used as a “lure” to bring people back to work post-pandemic. Work and home should never be mixed. The interior design of the home should serve to set a human scale in which employees feel comfortable. An important element here is the kitchen, which can never be big enough. Where the best parties end at home, the best ideas are born in the working environment.
Which material-related aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
After two decades in offices made of glass and steel, people want an environment close to nature. “Cool” is increasingly being exchanged for warmth and naturalness. Fabrics, colour combinations and cosy seating are becoming more and more important. We see by far the biggest topic in the area of plants and greenery. The focus is on “bringing the outside in”. Where less than five years ago a decorative plant stood lonely in the entrance lobby, large green walls, hanging gardens and even areas with herb gardens and vegetable farms for lunch breaks are now being created. We call this the Singapore effect.

ClientJAB Holding Company
CountryUnited Kingdom
Project typeModification/rebuilding
Gross floor area m2800
Number of employees22
LightingFlos Skygarden - Pendant Lights; Fritz Hansen - Kaiser Idell ( customised design)
FlooringEgge Flooring for carpets Havwoods for parquet flooring Hunter Douglas for suspended ceilings
AcousticsWall and ceiling elements custom-made by carpenter
Workspace FurnitureFritz Hansen (with customised tables for this project) Vitra; Knoll; Wilkhahn
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
TechnologyBachmann for customised solutions Cable routing; Optima and Planteria for the Biophilic Concept, green walls, moss walls, planters; Cisco for AV media technology
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