Not off the rack

Design Relaxound GmbH
Location Berlin, Germany

Relaxation at the workplace

Of course, everyone learns this at school: you can’t get anywhere just by hanging out and tasks don’t get done in your sleep. However, thanks to modern occupational psychology and medicine, companies have long since internalised the fact that relaxation is an essential element of both human performance and the will to perform. Releasing tension and gaining positive health, mental and economic effects from it is also the aim of the company Relaxound, which achieves this with Sound Boxes. Its name, associated with the term Relax, became the programme when it came to designing a new company location. The brand’s objective for its office world was: creative, trusting, organised, well-designed, relaxed, friendly and attentive. A sense of community was to become the cornerstone of the work culture, which allowed for both team tasks and individual retreat. To achieve this, two mezzanine floors were inserted into the 5.60 metre high existing building, which overlook the two-storey, open-plan work area.

Materials on display

In addition to 27 stationary desks, employees also have access to smaller, separable and acoustically insulated rooms, an interlocking system of walls and doors – concentration here, action there. For the fit-out, the materials were allowed to present themselves: MDF panels, for example, were coloured blue throughout and retained the visible wood structure. Sound-absorbing materials such as fabric, felt and open-cell aluminium have a noise-absorbing effect, while large glass panes create optical transparency thanks to their transparency. Atmospherically differentiated by light and colour, smaller zones appear darker and cosier, while collective spaces are kept lighter. The carefully coordinated furniture supports this. Interior designer Ester Bruzkus justifies her selection with personal quality standards: “Things we like. Perhaps a little more expensive, but not off the peg.”

"We love rooms within rooms, the blurring of inside and outside, unconventional colour combinations and material contrasts."

What do you think are the key qualities of a good workplace?
Ester Bruzkus and Peter Greenberg: The most important qualities of a good workplace are: creating a place where employees like to come, where they feel comfortable and can work together. Good acoustics, flexibility for growth, a sense of community AND the ability to concentrate on work. A shared identity and representation of the company for visitors make a good place to work. Such a workspace helps the company to attract and retain good employees.
Do you see any similarities in interior design for living and working?
Planners need to combine what employees appreciate about working from home – comfort, flexibility, relaxed working methods – with what works particularly well at the workplace. In particular, team collaboration. It is important that employees feel “at home” in the workplace and that they have the feeling that it belongs to them – like a clubhouse and not a factory.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
The future development of workspaces should include hybrid solutions that combine aspects of workplace, living, hotel AND restaurant. The workplace is not a factory, but a place that encourages employees to work creatively and effectively.

ClientRelaxound GmbH
ArchitectsEster Bruzkus Architekten
SectorManufacturer Interior & Decoration
Project typeModification/rebuilding
Gross floor area m2490
Number of employees35
LightingCaptain Flint floor lamp - Flos, Lighting design - Dinnebier Licht GmbH
Flooringrugs by Nomad
AcousticsNya Nordiska - Cover fabric for acoustic panels
Workspace FurnitureVia Studio CouCou - Babette armchair by Sofa Company, Bob Home sofa and Bob armchair by Bla Station, Berna armchair by Collection Tubulaire, desk by Studio CouCou, side table by HAY, planter by Llot Llov
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-

Floor Plans

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