Today, offices are varied and undergoing constant change. Changing forms of work require flexible environments for teamwork and a common exchange of ideas. How even larger structures can be designed both adaptable and communicative is demonstrated by a recent example in Essen: The new head office of Schenker AG provides plenty of room for spontaneous contacts and a great closeness of team and executives.
As a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, the logistics specialist Schenker is active all around the world. Eight previously separate locations were now united in the new head office at Essenâ€™s main station. At present, 730 employees are working here, whereby the building was laid out to provide room for up to 900 people in the future. The objective of bringing together the different corporate divisions was a significant improvement of mutual exchange and collaboration. â€śThe focus of the office concept is set on communication and transparency. We want to facilitate encounters and intensify the communication between employees and executives,â€ť explains Claudia Bernklau, head of large projects and office concepts at DB Immobilien.
Duisburg-based architectural practice aib was commissioned with the room and furnishing planning for the new headquarters. Together with DB Immobilien, the planners developed a room concept with open-plan areas of maximum 400 square metres. Additional room modules are available for focused working, meetings and informal exchange. Individually designed â€śhome areasâ€ť serve as areas for meetings and communication between different departments. The special feature: The users were involved in the conceptual design of the new rooms from the beginning. Planning officers and workshops helped the staff to contribute to the design. A specifically developed â€śFurniture Stampâ€ť for the open space is regularly adapted to new ideas and requirements.
The flexible workplaces of the new headquarters are distributed over eight office levels. The unusual X-shaped ground plan of the new building in divided into penetrable functional areas. “The classic workstation with a desk and a computer were efficiently reduced. Simultaneously, there is a varied range of rooms for cooperation and all requirements of everyday work routinesâ€ť describes Christof Nellehsen from aib the new concept. The result is an open and versatile office environment with which employees can identify. â€śWe allow liberties and simultaneously bring about identification. An open-plan structure and an inviting and friendly atmosphere are most likely to ensure satisfaction of the staff,â€ť comments Claudia Bernklau from DB Immobilien.