Design Drees & Sommer
Location Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Shifting Workspaces

A “market hall” or “town hall” has now become a frequent motif in the interior design conception of current working environments. This is not surprising, as more and more companies are moving towards using large, multifunctional spaces with a combination of meeting, communication and supply functions at their centre, for which these designations are appropriate.

Personal space

The 6,992 square metre, six-storey New Work showcase project of Drees & Sommer, a consultancy firm specialising in construction and real estate in Frankfurt am Main, which was developed for the company’s own use, was also given a “Kleinmarkthalle” on the top floor, which offers employees opportunities for informal meetings and culinary refreshments. The reference to the Frankfurt institution of the same name is also convincing here. An innovation hub and materials library have been sensibly arranged next to it. The 397 stationary workstations are located on the lower floors. Although they are not permanently assigned, they offer everyone a “home” with storage facilities, lockers and pinboards, as the employees were closely involved in the conceptualisation process. They also came up with the names for the rooms – personal places of longing or favourite sights from the Frankfurt region. The sports room with table tennis table, basketball hoop and yoga mats, for example, is named “Hafenpark” after the leisure area. All floors have been given multifunctional areas, retreat rooms and areas for project and creative work. There is a communal and meeting room with table football and a meeting room for customer workshops in the interior design area. 80 per cent of the furnishings were taken over from the previous company headquarters, and sustainability with recyclable furnishings was prioritised when making additions. Digital solutions and an app organise access to offices and the underground car park or book workstations, conference rooms and lockers – those unfamiliar with the area can also be navigated there on request. Very convenient!

"There are no fixed workstations, but each area has a home, so to speak, with storage facilities, pinboards and lockers. The employees in each area have chosen how these are designed and what the furniture for the retreat areas looks like. In this way, we ensure that the individual teams really feel comfortable and can work well."

What do you think are the key qualities of a good workplace?
Christopher Hestermann: A functioning concept that is specifically customised to the users and that creates identity through the users.
Do you see any comparability in interior design for living and working?
Diversity in the furnishing of workspaces has steadily increased in recent years, and that’s a good thing. As with living, the working environment should adapt to the needs of the user and react flexibly to them.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
Always focussing on the user.

ClientDrees & Sommer SE
CityFrankfurt am Main
ArchitectsDrees & Sommer SE
SectorProperty sector
Project typeNew building
Gross floor area m26.992
Number of employees610
LightingFloor lamps, ceiling canopies including lighting, decorative lighting
FlooringFloor: Interface
Workspace Furniture-
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
TechnologySmart App: Thing-It
Best workspaces initiators