Issue 4.2023


Dear Readers,

Until not so long ago, every architect or interior designer broke out in a cold sweat when the clients announced that they wanted to integrate the existing furniture into the just-completed office building. What was decided primarily for pecuniary reasons did not necessarily support the committed design concept. Times are changing — and that’s a good thing! Re-use today stands for reusing furniture, materials and surfaces and is not only becoming increasingly socially accepted but is urgently needed. The building industry has to put up with the reproach of being wasteful with building materials and components produced in elaborate and environmentally damaging processes. The answer to this is not only reduce but also recycle and — of course — re-use. We found an impressive example in Ober-Ramstadt, Hesse (pictured above), where the planners from Point. Architektur equipped the communication area in the administration building of a paint manufacturer with existing furniture and leftover materials purchased online. They called their modular system Re_frame and reveal their recipe for success frompage 126 onwards. In this issue on ‘Office and Administration’, you will look in vain for staid, prestigious office spaces with executive chairs, design classics and leather fauteuils. Regardless of the actual space — our examples range from 170 to 40,000 square metres (from p. 84) —, all offices boast a successful mix of playful nonchalance and the charming appeal of the unfinished that is not remotely reminiscent of drab office work. Rather, flexible, transferable and expandable concepts are envisaged that intelligently and far-sightedly adapt to the constantly changing office landscape. The motto must be to plan for change and to continue building instead of demolishing. In theirmaster’s thesis “Alliance for Youth” (p. 42), Lorena Stephan and Sylvia Brüstle impressively demonstrate that vacated administrative buildings can serve the city and society. An old tobacco factory in Linz (from p. 130) designed by the old master of modernism Peter Behrens in the 1930s offers the perfect backdrop for creative workplaces after renovation. We are all the more pleased that the office scenarios Dominik Reding describes in his essay “Do you love this state?” (from p. 56) are becoming less common. And that is also a good thing!

Best wishes
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.
Chief Editor

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