Wörwag Headquarters, Stuttgart

Working in a Kaleidoscope

Designing the kind of offices that not only satisfy the demands made on modern working environments but also focus on flexibility and coziness – no easy task. For three of its current projects, multidisciplinary design studio Ippolito Fleitz has solved this challenge dynamically and with adventurous colors.

Wörwag Headquarters: South Germany paint manufacturer Wörwag’s new HQ in Korntal-Münchingen just north of Stuttgart succeeds in making a radiant impression on both the world outside and its staff inside the building. With a colour-intensive concept, Ippolito Fleitz refers to the company's core competence: A large fan of colors spreads out over the ceiling, acting as a visual guidance system. The covers of the sound insulation elements and the desk partitions are similarly flamboyant – with a total of 40 fabrics in 70 shades on display. Moreover, on the folded ceilings, LED strip lights have been used to mark the centers on all of the building’s three office stories, forming graphic elements which show off the open architecture over some 4,000 m² to its best advantage. Simultaneously, transparent cubes offer employees the opportunity to retreat without visibly disrupting this open feel. And whereas the furniture in the work section predominantly adheres to neutral black and white hues, the colors in the break areas have dared to be bolder. Accordingly, the seat upholstery in the canteen sports a gleaming royal blue, with the ceiling opting for a shade of violet. Terracotta and dark red from the other end of the color spectrum form a warm contrast here. As evening draws near, the radiance of this color scheme can also be enjoyed from the outside.

Schöller SI: Schöller SI’s new offices in Reutlingen, south of Stuttgart, provide 850 m² of space with a multilayered, straightforward look. In this case, on behalf of the project developers Ippolito Fleitz came up with a homely world of colors and materials that opts for textures and a mixture of colors – with curtains in different colors, such as pastel green, loosely separating off the meeting areas for business purposes and for socializing. Yellow ocher chair covers team up with a blue carpet, above which the grid ceiling boasts a shimmering shade of apricot. Gold-colored highlights, such as the desk lights specially designed for the project, colored glass partitions and the abundance of house plants lend these rooms a pleasant, homelike aspect. By the way, the great materiality in evidence everywhere makes for ideal acoustics. “We put the color scheme together on the basis of the company’s CI. Color makes a good recognition factor, creating the kind of unique working environment that fits in with the company’s corporate culture and takes it out into the big wide world,” explains architect Isabel Pohle, who, together with her team, is responsible for the project. And she adds: “Color boosts identification at all levels of the company. And although the shades used for the different sections do differ, essentially it is the core color that links them.”

Aktion Mensch: By contrast, Aktion Mensch’s headquarters in Bonn boast a futuristic look – with organic shapes stretching from the ceiling to the paneling in the rooms, creating, in combination with various color gradations such as blues, pinks and oranges, a dynamic atmosphere in which cool shades alternate with warm ones. The 3900 square metre area was thus divided into eight zones through colours, each with its own atmosphere. At the heart of every zone is something known as a “village square” which serves as a meeting place for the section in question. The strong colour contrasts also help people with visual disabilities to find their way around and are an integral part of the inclusive design. The storage space behind its walls is partly hidden by reflecting surfaces which lend the room additional visual depth. At the same time, the upholstered elements make for a soft feel that has nothing in common with a classic office but manifests a great diversity, as befits how the socially-conscious funding agency that is Aktion Mensch sees itself. (am)