Our aim is to create workstations at which team members can feel at ease.
The first part of the new-build/renovation project at Fiducia & GAD IT AG in Karlsruhe is complete. It’s time for a quick resume and review of the project so far. We spoke to Jenny Gros, the lead designer behind the office concept, about backgrounds, learnings and recipes for success.
Our interview with the interior architect at Fiducia & GAD IT AG, Jenny Gros
K+N: Why was the new-build project initiated in 2017?
J. Gros: Until that point, we had been accommodating around 25% of our workstations in rented units. It made communication difficult and generated high running costs. On top of that, some of the existing buildings needed renovating.
K+N: What was the project’s key focus? What was the desired outcome?
J. Gros.: On the existing site the idea was to construct new buildings that would accommodate 1000 workstations, and create a campus that would link old with new. Our goal was to design new, attractive working environments in which there would be space for communication, whilst allowing a working approach that’s flexible, agile, networked and project-based.
K+N: In your view, what was the outstanding feature in the office planning process?
J. Gros: We had the chance to create a pilot space on which we could test the new office concept. With König + Neurath as process facilitator, we were able to analyse, plan, test, draft and adapt everything down to the last detail, and ultimately implement the project exactly as our employees wanted it. It was time-intensive – but crucial for achieving this exceptional outcome.
K+N: Why did you choose König + Neurath as a partner?
J. Gros: We’ve been working at and with K+N furniture for a long time now, and we’re more than happy with the quality. Also we wanted a project partner who could support us throughout the process, produce custom solutions and guarantee high quality.
K+N: What services was König + Neurath able to offer that contributed towards the project’s success?
J. Gros: We defined the target vision together, even commissioning mock-up tables that were then put to the test in user workshops and optimised further until we had put together a workstation that was perfect for us.
K+N: How have the new offices changed the way people work?
J. Gros: Our teams were coming from traditional cell offices, so many of them found it a huge difference moving into the new building and working in an open space. Thanks to the office concept we managed to allay doubts and improve communication. What we have today reflects the idea of new work: with lounges, rooftop pavilions, parent-child offices, a gym and other innovative solutions, we’ve arrived in the workplace of the future.
K+N: How important is an attractive workplace in times when there’s a shortage of suitably qualified candidates?
J. Gros: Another thing we hoped to achieve with the new-build was to create a more attractive working environment so that we would appeal to new and young employees. Future-proof workplace models and an office setting with potential for employee development certainly count in our favour.
K+N: How would you characterise the work culture at your company?
J. Gros: Our working approach is agile, networked and transparent, and we believe that a communication-oriented working environment is important.