The new home of the List Group in Nordhorn, as with the other newly built locations, was to convey volume through the appearance of the architecture alone – a large space for contents and actions. What could be more obvious for the planners, the architects from RKW Architektur + and the firm brandherm + krumrey, which was responsible for the interior design, than to choose a hangar type for this purpose, a hall building that one already enters with a feeling of spaciousness, that has ample light and space everywhere and possesses generous expanse, also in the figurative sense.
For the creation of an atmospherically consistent and spatially intense ambience, such large spaces are a challenge, since one is confronted with enormous, oversized floor areas and, above all, heights of 6.40 meters. The challenge was accepted, supported by the client’s intention, formulated in the claim, to create “Our Office”, the company-typical, identificatory place. A small but powerful motif serves as a link to the corporate identity and brand identity of the company: the tension belts in List orange, which refer to the field of activity in the construction industry and are integrated as hall-high room dividers with an original zoning effect.
A system element was also developed exclusively, which divides the floor space and takes on different tasks such as shelf, cabinet or wall function. In combination with floor-to-ceiling movable partitions, variable areas can be configured and hybrid project spaces for meetings can be formed.
A glance at the floor plan illustrates the convincing logic of the interior disposition with open-office situations along the glazed outer wall, sensibly distributed small individual cubicles that can be used for telephone calls or concentrated partitioning, and closed room boxes for access, toilets and storage use. At the same time, they function as the substructure of the upper hall floor, which is accessed by single-flight open staircases and is connected to a gallery, from whose retreat zones there is a relaxed view over the office landscape. Here, the intended expanse of the design concept becomes particularly comprehensible.
The “social heart” of the building is an open-air area of the open-plan space, directly accessible from the entrance, which is occupied by loosely grouped tables and upholstered furniture, carpets and green plants. At its center is the genius loci: a tall tree that produces visual relaxation and a good climate. Combined with this lounge area is the “Deli,” an employee café and restaurant.
As designers, how would you define the term “New Work” briefly and succinctly?
Susanne Brandherm / Sabine Krumrey: We have been allowed to develop and execute the design implementation of the term “New Work” in our planning for about 15 years. In our view, the original meaning has almost outlived its usefulness and is simply no longer “new”. Agile working, free space and retreat, these are important parameters that are taken for granted in an office world today.
There is currently a lot of talk about sustainability: Do you have a basic approach to this?
The guiding philosophy on “sustainability” is currently being increasingly sharpened at our company and anchored in the team. This is about clear facts, but also about feelings. Conscious, resource-conserving use of materials, existing buildings and planning – these are the essential building blocks in sustainable planning.
Is it possible to respond to the home office trend in office design, or should a clear distinction be made between private and office interiors?
We, as a team of brandherm + krumrey, do not understand working environments as the only place. The office is the home base for all of us, the place that offers us everything we need together. The home office is lived in the private space, visually it is then individual, just as everyone feels comfortable at home.
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