New, attractive, global
Based on a comprehensive usage analysis, DIA – Dittel Architekten developed a holistic office concept for the German headquarters of the Husqvarna Group in Ulm with more than 10,000 m2 and won out against the competition. The aim of the concept was to create new workplaces and an attractive environment that will suit the global operations of the international company, bring together employees, and attract new ones. The Husqvarna Group is a leading global equipment manufacturer in the forestry, landscape and garden maintenance, construction and stone industries. With the conversion and redesign of a 1,500 m2 area in an existing logistics building, the first step was carried out. In March 2019, the modern work environment, with 100 new workplaces, was ready to move into.
The new office space is on the first floor of the logistics building and right next to a high-rise warehouse. In three zones that run parallel to the façade there are many different working situations: Open Space and Desk Sharing areas, group offices, meeting rooms, Focus Rooms, and a spacious lounge. They meld into an overall concept that optimally balances open and closed areas, to promote exchange and facilitate concentration. The multifunctional meeting pools are separated by walls, glazing or curtains to meet different acoustic and privacy needs. Three specially designed video conferencing rooms make it easier for employees around the world to communicate. As a place for community and communication, the lounge with a café counter and sofa area is at the center of the space. In the Focus Rooms, employees can retreat to concentrate on their work. The room layout must meet demands for great flexibility: Thanks to appropriate technical pre-installations, open-space areas can be subdivided at any time.
Identity and atmosphere
Transferring the identity of a company into the space means creating a suitable framework for the lived corporate culture. The design concept takes up the cool, rough look of the logistics building and, combining it with cozy, friendly details, creates a loft-like office atmosphere. Band windows were integrated into the partition wall between the office area and the high-rise warehouse. These allow a view into the latter and create a strong identification with the product and so with the company itself. A high-quality matt gray epoxy resin floor melds the entire surface into one unit. This clean look is contrasted in the open space area by the exposed technical ceiling. Textiles and friendly accents in shades of green and yellow refer to the company’s relationship to nature and, in particular, create a homely atmosphere in the communication zones. Numerous in-house plants of the company round off the feel-good mood.
Light, climate, technology, acoustics
The entry of daylight through the existing strip facade is optimally exploited by glass separation systems. The lighting concept with predominantly linear pendant luminaires uses energy-saving LEDs, while in the hall area it falls back on existing, upgraded luminaires. Playful cantilever-arm lights are used as design elements in different zones. To integrate the technology, the planners oriented themselves around the existing system and also developed a technology platform for the ventilation unit. Special attention was given to the cold- and noise insulation of the floor and to the partition walls separating the office space from the high-rise warehouse. In the room, acoustic panels on the ceiling and deployed as design elements on the walls ensure that the room acoustics are balanced and appropriate. The symbiosis of all the architectural and design solutions creates a balance between space-efficiency, functionality and quality.
“The room should get across what the company is all about. In addition, we believe that architecture can foster creativity and be inspirational.” - Frank Dittel, CEO Dittel Architects