Pharmaceutical company Wörwag recently hired architecture and interior design firm Ippolito Fleitz Group to design their new office in Stuttgart, Germany.
“The atrium greets you with a backdrop of illuminated shelving that would pass as a collection of ‘objets trouvés’ from German industry: paint samples, a washing machine door, a driver’s cab. The intention here is to reveal the ‘we’ at Wörwag. Which includes the product in its end use, something that should not remain abstract for the controller. But equally the emphasis on partnership with all the producers with whom this expert company from Zuffenhausen has pulled together in all matters of quality and excellence for over a century. And if you want to see the people behind the products, just take a left turn into the cafeteria: Here the workforce meets – live and in colour. The space is a coworking space, lunch location and chat corner in one. Moreover, the open facades allow passers-by to be a part of what is happening inside. Last but not least, the employees report that the food now tastes even better: “The chefs say they just enjoy their work a whole lot more!”
They are probably not the only ones either – because everything has been done to ensure that employees feel perfectly at home on the three office floors, too. In fact, this was one of the client’s primary concerns. At the same time, the brief was to create a space that moves with the times and promotes highly efficient working practices. And thirdly, the company’s identity should be rendered tangible.
The spatial response is a sophisticated open-office concept and a gigantic colour chart that spans the entire ceiling. This not only highlights the specific competence of Wörwag, it also zones the space for the individual teams. A total of 40 fabrics in 70 colours has been integrated here. While transparent conference rooms in the hallways ensure that every employee remains part of a whole, even when they are in a meeting.
In close dialogue with the workforce, various tasks were identified and solved in a targeted manner. For example, we dispelled the general assumption that an open-office layout leads to less ability to concentrate and less privacy: The office levels are now a mix of open and closed areas that offer employees a diversity of retreat options – from cosy alcoves to the conference room, the use of which can be digitally timed on the door. Moreover, sound-absorbing materials ensure that team meetings and phone conversations stay where they belong. And if you look closely, you will see that the pastel-coloured absorbers are modelled on Wörwag’s paint samples.
In this way, we have created an office in which communication and diversity are experienced in a completely novel way. An office that literally reveals the company’s true colours when evening falls: with its generous glass facades, the building is transformed into a true lighthouse of work worlds – visible to one and all,” says
- Location: Stuttgart, Germany
- Date completed: 2020
- Size: 37,673 square feet
- Design: Ippolito Fleitz Group
- Photos: Eric Laignel