How materials mute space

It was at a trade show in Berlin in 2017 that the architects of Dark Horse Workspaces found the solution they were looking for with products from Texaa, a business in Bordeaux. Using these products enhanced the quality of the fittings in the offices of Lufthansa Industry Solutions, a subsidiary of the German airline in Raunheim, not far from Frankfurt.

For architects, it’s like squaring circles: managing to combine the noise of intense discussions with the peace of open space work places, where large numbers of people go about their business.

The principal asked for a concept to be developed to provide open work spaces for groups and closed individual offices for teams who were to occupy the complete floor of a building. These new premises were to be distinctive of a business specialising in IT products and services, and had to facilitate collaboration within the different teams, while adapting to a fluctuating number of employees. This project was especially ambitious, because an opinion poll carried out in the company prior to execution revealed employees’ concern about noise and difficulties to concentrate on work as a result.

To divide up the 2,800 sq. m floor, Dark Horse Workspaces, which specialises in developing user-focussed work premises, dreamed up a system of modular separations that embody various functions, such as “wardrobe” and “cupboard” as well as “bar table” and “alcove corner” that correspond to the various temporally and spatially defined needs of the users. After working together with Artis GmbH, a range of spatial furniture, called “Supergrid”, was devised.

For the concept to work and be acceptable for everyone, faultless acoustic management was essential. Installation took place in the spring of 2018 and it changed the lives of people in the premises for the better. Texaa’s acoustic covering Vibrasto adorns the rear surfaces of the functional modules, such as cupboards, wardrobes and alcoves. Stereo panels on the walls ensure that all that is said in the “Marketplace” area, used for communication and informal discussion, can be heard loud and clear. Double-sided acoustic curtains by Texaa also serve to close off the different rooms and modulate the acoustics.

The range of 22 colours was an obvious asset that enabled the architects to clothe their proposal in the livery of Lufthansa Industry Solutions. Dark Horse Workspaces finds that the texture of the knit and the textile’s pleasant feel contributes “the experience of a comfortable material that tempers the harshness of the workplace”.

The result was welcomed by all. To the great relief of the principal, the employees are very enthusiastic.

Project name: Bureaux Lufthansa

Year to be delivered: 2018

Town-city / Country: Raunheim, Allemagne

Project owner or contracting authority: Lufthansa Industry Solutions

Contractor: Designer : Artis GmbH

Architect: Karin Landowski Dark Horse Workspaces

Photographer: artis & DHWS

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