Location Mettlach, Germany

New and flexible

400 flexible working options are now available at the “Campus Alte Abtei Mettlach”, the Saarland headquarters of Villeroy & Boch AG. The office and conference centre is called “Fabrik N°09”, and its 4,500 square metres have been given a completely new shape by BOCHEM.SCHMIDT, as nothing behind the historic three-storey brick facade actually resembles the former production facility from the 1930s. Nevertheless, the carefully preserved ambience and the valuable old materials have been utilised – their presence adds character, follows sustainability principles and saves costs. Inside the workspace, diversely designed work and project areas replace the classic office – there are generally no longer any permanently assigned desks. This encourages open communication situations, networks cooperation and promotes creative exchange.

Something for everyone

Employees and customers are offered a range of conference rooms of different sizes and with different furnishings, lounge-style seating and tea and coffee stations on three floors. The most attractive and largest zone in the overall structure is certainly the open “marketplace” with its grandstand on the high ground floor, to which an “arena” with a writable wall lends forum-like qualities. There are also wood-framed meeting niches and telephone boxes as well as four large meeting and Skype rooms with large monitors and wide-angle cameras for video conferencing. Small partition walls between the desks, a carpeted floor, sound absorbers on the ceilings and felt curtains in the open-plan project areas manage the acoustics. Incidentally, the reference to the sophisticated design of the exclusive sanitary facilities is by no means meant as a fun fact, as fitting them out is one of the company’s core competences. There are various themed worlds with matching music: “energy boost rooms” in bright colours or with a metallic look, a Zen garden, the Amazonia bathroom or the jungle bathroom.

"The aim was to offer employees the ideal workspace for every activity. The 'Marketplace', 'Working' and 'Networking' zones break up traditional office structures. During the remodelling, the aim was to adopt existing structures as far as possible in order to retain the character of the building from 1930. For Villeroy & Boch, the interplay of tradition and modernity is a key driver for creating something new. The toilet facilities are a particular highlight in Fabrik N°09. Because no two toilets in Fabrik N°09 are the same."

What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?
Villeroy & Boch: Light, air and good acoustic properties. Rooms that are attentively tailored to the needs of the users convey appreciation.
Do you see any similarities in interior design for living and working?
Rooms have an effect on people. They can promote well-being or have the opposite effect. Spaces influence our social behaviour, how we feel and think and therefore also our performance. This applies to both residential buildings and workplaces.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important in the future development of workspaces?
Rooms that continue to fulfil the various functions while retaining the same layout are preferable to rooms that can be “easily converted” to fulfil the new functions.
Which material-related aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
With the aim of creating sustainable buildings, we should place even more emphasis on high quality, durability and recyclability in our buildings, components, building materials and furnishings.

ClientVilleroy & Boch AG
SectorProduction industry
Project typeModification/rebuilding
Gross floor area m24500
Number of employees200
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
Best workspaces initiators