Extra spaces made to measure
“When we wanted to present it to the first potential customer, we used a trolley to deliver the prototype of the 'Quiet.Box' directly to the building site,” says Peter Heimann, Sales Manager Room Systems at König + Neurath, supplier of office furniture and room solutions “The customer was so impressed by this flexibility that he immediately ordered 90 units for his project.” The telephone booth “Quiet.Box” can be installed anywhere in an open-plan and communication spaces where a sound-proof location for phone calls is needed. It only requires one square meter of space and an electricity connection. The “Quiet.Box” is the smallest item in the room-in-room product range offered by König + Neurath. And the only one made of timber. König + Neurath used their in-house expertise to develop the functional and sustainable cabin. The main elements – insulation material, lighting, ventilation and electricity – are all pre-installed at the factory so that the cell is ready for use just 30 minutes after delivery. And should it be necessary it can easily be moved elsewhere at a later point in time.
The bigger sisters of the “Quiet.Box” are all based on an aluminum post-and-rail construction that was first developed at König + Neurath 25 years ago for their “Horizonte” glass partition wall system. As open-plan offices became increasingly popular the need quickly emerged for room-in-room solutions in the guise of a free-standing cube. The Product Developers at König + Neurath recognized that there was greater potential in their tried-and-trusted aluminum system and used it as a basis for developing “Think.Tank” and “Quiet.Box Duo”.
While “Quiet.Box Duo” is intended to serve as a private space for two people “Think.Tank” can be used to configure conference rooms, lounges, quiet work areas or executive offices. There are virtually no limits to the width but the depth should not be much more than 4.2 meters. Similarly, there are virtually no limits to the materials used for the panels inserted between the aluminum rails. Discreet aluminum-colored designs are available, as well as expressive solutions in anthracite. Customers can choose from metal, textile or even ceramic surfaces, not to mention veneered elements or plastic-coated panels. Moreover, the elements can also be designed as whiteboards – that can be used on both sides, inside and out. However, a crucial aspect is that the “Think.Tanks” can feature generous glazing ensuring not only that the spaces get sufficient daylight but also that these light, delicate cabins fit harmoniously into their surroundings. It is also possible to choose curved corner glass elements rather than flat ones transforming the “Think.Tanks” into elegant architectural objects. To further enhance the design appeal of these spatial solutions König + Neurath cooperates with selected partner firms. One such partner: the lighting experts at Berlin-based firm “volatiles” who are specialists in making back-lit wall mosaics of glass. It is also possible to integrate light-transmitting concrete elements by the brand Lucem, whereby optical fibers are embedded in the material and light it up using the ambient light. Other design options include the addition of colored foil products by 3M or designer luminaires by Artemide.
One of the most important arguments in favor of the “Think.Tank” and the “Quiet.Box Duo” is that they can be relatively easily dismantled and assembled again without making changes to the building structure. This means it is possible to respond sustainable to new situations at any time making them perfect when departments or entire firms relocate or the company is restructured. “Think.Tank II” is even more flexible in this respect: Thanks to its monobloc design the system works like a construction kit. The room-in-room solution which boasts low levels of noise and is easily cleaned can be assembled in no time at all – a huge advantage if the assembly needs to be done during normal business operations. And further elements can be easily added to “Think.Tank II” if more space is needed. Another special feature of the "Think.Tank II", in addition to its double-glazed modules in the flush glazing method, which not only lend the rooms transparency and lightness but also guarantee excellent sound protection, is the flush-fitting on all glazing levels.
When designing the room-in-room systems the Product Developers at König + Neurath attached great importance to achieving a harmonious overall appearance that exudes quality. This is evidenced by the coherent details such as the continuous joints and the rail for sliding doors that is integrated into the ceiling construction. But many of the innovative details are not immediately apparent to the naked eye. Such as the independent air-conditioning system for “Think.Tank” and “Think.Tank II” which is a completely new development and can be retrofitted without intervention in the construction. “Our engineers have succeeded in integrating a closed cooling circuit without a condensate outlet,” says Markus Philippi, Project Manager Room Systems, explaining the special challenge that needs to be overcome to install an air-conditioning system in room-in-room systems. Incidentally, there is an alternative option: “Think.Tank” and “Think.Tank II” can be connected to existing building air-conditioning systems. Incidentally, the standard ventilation and venting systems that König + Neurath installs in all four room-in-room product ranges are naturally no louder than the current directives permit for offices, and that goes for both inside and outside the spaces. Moreover, the company can draw on ample expertise when it comes to acoustics and supports its customers in planning the optimal room acoustics through experience and expertise, so that, for example, large glass surfaces are possible without any problems.
Given that practically every product is developed in-company, König + Neurath is in the fortunate position of being able to supply customers with exactly the product they need. “What sets us apart as full-range supplier "Made in Germany" are our customized solutions,” emphasizes Markus Philippi and adds: “We also offer customers the profound expertise and advice they need to be able to find the perfect solution to suit their needs.”