About the project
Wörwag is a globally operating paint manufacturer. For the new headquarters, an office was required which not only meets all the demands of modern work environments, but also reflects the identity of the owner. Ippolito Fleitz designed the new headquarters with a lot of color to reflect their business and meet their needs in a workspace they would be exposed to everyday.
The atrium welcomes visitors with a backdrop of illuminated shelving that would pass as a collection of ‘objets trouvés’ from German industry: paint samples, a washing machine door, a driver’s cab. The intention here is to reveal the ‘we’ at Wörwag. Which includes the product in its end use, something that should not remain abstract for the controller. But equally the emphasis on partnership with all the producers with whom this expert company from Zuffenhausen has pulled together in all matters of quality and excellence for over a century. And to see the people behind the products, just take a left turn into the cafeteria: Here the workforce meets – live and in colour. The space is a coworking space, lunch location and chat corner in one. Moreover, the open façades allow passers-by to be a part of what is happening inside.
They are probably not the only ones either – because everything has been done to ensure that employees feel perfectly at home on the three office floors, too. In fact, this was one of the client’s primary concerns. At the same time, the brief was to create a space that moves with the times and promotes highly efficient working practices. And thirdly, the company’s identity should be rendered tangible.
The spatial response is a sophisticated open-office concept and a gigantic colour chart that spans the entire ceiling. This not only highlights the specific competence of Wörwag, it also zones the space for the individual teams. A total of 40 fabrics in 70 colours has been integrated, while transparent conference rooms in the hallways ensure that every employee remains part of a whole, even when they are in a meeting.
In close dialogue with the workforce, various tasks were identified and solved in a targeted manner. For example, there was the general assumption that an open-office layout leads to less ability to concentrate and less privacy: The office levels are now a mix of open and closed areas that offer employees a diversity of retreat options – from cosy alcoves to the conference room, the use of which can be digitally timed on the door. Moreover, sound-absorbing materials ensure that team meetings and phone conversations stay where they belong. And if one looks closely, there is a use of pastel-coloured absorbers are modelled on Wörwag’s paint samples.
In this way, the designers have created an office in which communication and diversity are experienced in a completely novel way. An office that literally reveals the company’s true colours when evening falls: with its generous glass façades, the building is transformed into a true lighthouse of work worlds – visible to one and all.