Design Ott Architekten Partnerschaft mbB
Location Waltenhofen, Germany


A clear floor plan can be delightful – not just for the advocates of functionalism, but for all those involved: the client, the planners and, above all, the users. This is well illustrated by the Herzmanns II branch of Wilhelm Geiger GmbH in Waltenhofen. But first to the building structure, which was realised by Ott Architekten – as an addition to a recently completed first administration building – in a deliberately visible skeleton construction as a sustainably designed timber hybrid construction. The internal layout, which is clearly legible on the plans, divides the 4,250 square metres of usable space into two areas – the multi-use ground floor with reception, foyer, canteen and event area, and the three upper floors, on which the 3,000 square metre working environment for 160 employees is spread out.


The expressively designed staircase sits in the centre of the floor plan, with the entrances and halls as well as the lift, toilets and storage rooms arranged in a cross shape on four sides. The larger conference rooms are easy to find above the entrances thanks to the clear internal structure. Speaking of which: the partition walls of the offices lined up along the long sides can be rearranged with little effort if necessary. Overall, the theme of wood is very present and, with the pleasantly temperate interior fittings made of spruce, also shapes the space – no wonder, as it is the company’s core competence. With a high degree of prefabrication of the façade elements, the assembly time could be minimised. The concrete used in the hybrid concept deliberately takes a back seat as a building material and saves around 73 tonnes of CO2. This reduction is reinforced by the use of local woods – such as the pre-weathered natural wood façade, spruce inside and larch wood on the outdoor terrace with a view of the Alps. Everything follows an environmentally conscious and nature-loving company philosophy. Different types of natural stone from the company’s own quarry were laid in the entrance area, giving the floor the appearance of a life-size pattern book.

"The building is also a showroom in which we can show the different construction methods such as solid wood, hybrid or laminated veneer lumber made from hardwood."

What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?
Peter Greggenhofer (Ott Architekten): An open and spacious interior design offers maximum transparency and ideally manages to fuel internal communication within the team. In the Geiger project in Herzmanns, the open-plan stairwell and the canteen, among other things, provide a meeting place. Large window openings in the interior allow a relaxing view to the outside. The full glazing between the outer zone with individual and group offices on the façade and the inner zone with a central communication area creates numerous visual connections. Contact points for dialogue, stimulation and relaxation are created on each floor.
Do you see any similarities in the interior design for living and working?
The central theme of our architecture is the creation of living spaces. We spend a large part of our time working, the boundaries are fluid. The ambience is important for our ability to concentrate, motivate and be creative. Individual needs vary greatly: sometimes we need a sheltered retreat for contemplation, other times a stage for lively communication. Just like in a well-designed home, a working environment must fulfil the various needs and combine them skilfully.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
Flexibility is key. However, I don’t see the much-publicised “flex office” with its “hot seat” model as the be-all and end-all of our future working world. The combination of personal, stationary workstations that are permanently “occupied” by employees and highly flexible workstations that are controlled via a digital booking system makes more sense in the long term. Of course, this involves many technical necessities. However, employee acceptance must not fall by the wayside.

ClientWilhelm Geiger GmbH & Co. KG
ArchitectsOtt Architekten
SectorConstruction industry
Project typeNew building
Gross floor area m24.950
Number of employees-
LightingZUMTOBEL, Slotlight infinity slim LED strip light PROLICHT, Hangover Plug 30 Flat pendant luminaire LTS, Flixx 100 Round LED recessed downlight
Workspace FurniturePALMBERG, Crew height-adjustable desk WILKHAHN, Occo conference chair OCEE & FOUR, FourSure® 88 multifunctional chair (canteen) SEDUS, se:cube think tank module OBJECT CARPET, Nylloop 600 carpet tiles PAN+ARMBRUSTER, glass partition walls
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
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