Colorful office amoebas
Sep 3, 2013

The new Cisco branch office in Stuttgart is meant to be home to 100-130 staff members, of whom most will be field staff and above all be linked by laptop to the virtual world and the company’s HQ. For the international maker of hardware and software for computer networks, the pending relocation was an occasion to realize a trailblazing model for workstations: a so-called non-territorial office. For the 30-40 staff members who entire the HQ each day to work, the architects at Aukett + Heese created a highly flexible and diverse office across a total of 1,700 square meters. By making use of the vast range of Bene furniture they were able to come up with a broad array of different workstations and realize an unusual color concept.

There are no fixed workstations, as in clearly outlined territories. Each staff member decides each day anew where and how he or she will work. To this end there are spaces in “individual capsules” or in classic open-plan offices, as well as informal meeting niches and screened conference zones. The zone reserved for a classic back office has been kept to a minimum. The interior consists of office furniture and seating as well as standing tables from Bene’s various lines – rounded out by chairs from other renowned manufacturers.

The somewhat traditional PC workstations have chest-high storage furniture added to create quiet screened-off niches where you can concentrate completely. Colored on-top additions from Bene’s marvelously wide range of colors spawns individual, decorative areas grouped around several, amorphously shaped cores, so-called “amoebas”. These cells serve to enhance the spatial clarity and accommodate a whole breadth of functions. The yellow zone houses a kitchenette and bar, the green one a table-top football set, and the bright blue zone (somewhat unusually for an office) quiet rooms with massage chairs and chaise-longues. The colored amoebas and the Bene office systems are used to create workstations, communications areas and quiet zones of numerous kinds – and not only the staff really like them. Astonishingly, in the first few months the number of visitors has actually doubled.

The somewhat classical, neutral conference rooms featuring Bene’s AL Conference line. Photo: © Bene AG
The somewhat classical, neutral conference rooms featuring Bene’s AL Conference line. Photo: © Bene AG
Colored, amoeba-like cores structure the Cisco offices in Stuttgart. Photo: © Bene AG
Only when you’re standing does the room seems very colorful – seated at a desk the surroundings seem essentially neutral. Photo: © Bene AG
The yellow area houses the kitchenette and the bar, a basically classic communications zone, but with a clearly more elaborate and varied design in this case. Photo: © Bene AG
The amorphous bright blue wall shields the rooms for brief periods of relaxation. Photo: © Bene AG
Cisco decided when relocating to completely change its office’s physical organization. Photo: © Bene AG
The Bene office furniture with colored tops emulate the color of the respective “amoeba”. Photo: © Bene AG
Colored walls and matching furniture tops from the Bene color range code the different zones of the building. Photo: © Bene AG
The different activity zones are defined not just by the color of the furniture but that of the floor coverings, too. Photo: © Bene AG
The zone’s respective color is coherently reflected by the furniture. Photo: © Bene AG
Some workstations can simply be reconfigured as needed. Photo: © Bene AG