Friday, June 5, 2020

This Vienna office highlights free-range workspaces

Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: ©Wolfgang Thaler | Berger+Parkkinen Architekten 
Read Time: 3 mins
"Addendum office BergerParkkinenArchitects indiaartndesign"

Berger+Parkkinen Architekten repurpose an old bank premises into an upbeat editorial office and TV studio for Addendum...

An Austrian media project and research platform, Addendum finds its new expanded office in the former premises of a Volksbank branch in Vienna. 

The concrete building from the late ‘70s is flanked on both sides by historic buildings and is anointed with a picturesque garden in the backyard of the ground floor that occupies the plot to a depth of approximately 40 metres, and is visible from the street through an elongated space in the premises.  Stringing together differentiated zones has made it possible to create a varied and spacious office landscape. 

"Addendum office BergerParkkinenArchitects indiaartndesign"
"Addendum office BergerParkkinenArchitects indiaartndesign"

The entrance area serves as a reception but can also be used for informal meetings and smaller events. The necessary infrastructure of a kitchenette is hidden behind a bright orange wall covering, opposite a large, blue velvet sofa. As a contemporary interpretation of the open-plan typology, there are numerous possibilities for retreat and communication, in addition to the adjoining large workroom, including telephone boxes, small meeting rooms and a tea kitchen with staff lounge. The long worktables are reminiscent of old library tables, the tabletops in brushed, lightened oak are structured with the typical inlays of dark linoleum. There are no assigned desks, the employees can freely choose their workspace.

The challenge of transforming the initial space:
The vault not only formed the backbone of the bank, but, with its meter-thick concrete walls, was an unalterable element, which is now successfully integrated in the open office plan. By carving out the formerly clad exposed concrete, the massiveness is now even more tangible. The manual processing of the concrete in the 1970s, with rough tamped concrete surfaces on the side walls up to the high-strength concrete of the vault, becomes visible through the exposure. 

"Addendum office BergerParkkinenArchitects indiaartndesign"
"Addendum office BergerParkkinenArchitects indiaartndesign"

The complex daylight situation in the existing building presented a challenge in the design of the office rooms. Because of the windowless side walls, lighting is introduced from above via skylights and staged via light pyramids. The bright inside of the pyramids visually enhances daylight by reflecting it. This creates a virtual light horizon, above which all installations and constructions recede into shadow. 

Acoustically effective curtains via a rail system structure a large room thereby allowing one half of the room to be quickly transformed into a lecture room for 60 people or a round, intimate meeting room for a project team, when required.

The material concept is based on exposing the solid components, to emphasize the haptic and sensuous quality of the raw material. The exposed concrete is complemented by filled concrete floors, dark raw steel, and oiled, matte black wooden surfaces. A soft contrast is created by the curtains, textile wall tapestries and the covers of the softly upholstered chairs in various grey fabrics, traditionally used for men’s suits. The bright orange of the folding walls in the intermediate area gives this space a special energy and radiance, otherwise disrupted by the lack of daylight.

"Addendum office BergerParkkinenArchitects indiaartndesign"

Extending the office into the garden:
Large-scale glazing makes the transition from the workroom to the garden appear fluid. Depending on the time of year, employees benefit from the atmospheric view or can even use the courtyard garden as an open-air office. The lush flora makes the courtyard space a small universe that naturally merges with the surrounding courtyards to form a green scenery. The garden invites the team and visitors alike to meet and linger on various wooden terraces, which extend the interior to the outside, and provide opportunity for everyone to eat or work together. 

Fact File:
Project Name: Addendum
Client:  QVV GmbH, Vienna
Architects: Berger+Parkkinen Associated Architects 
Principal Architects: Alfred Berger, Tiina Parkkinen
Project architect: Lukas Allner
Project team: Serban Ganea, Ondrej Mraz, Giuseppe Malfona, Adam Ambrus, Alen Karic
Areas:  579 sq. m., 300 sq. m. garden
Location: Vienna, Austria

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