When an office encompasses three separate yet interconnected buildings, simply finding your way to the lunchroom can be a challenge. At House of Communication, HENN Interiors equipped the airport-sized headquarters that they designed for Serviceplan Group (a German company made up of 40 different creative agencies with 1,700 employees) with appropriately intuitive wayfinding.
A lot of the heavy lifting is done by the Innovation Track, a prominent circulation route (which also doubles as a gallery space) that runs throughout the heart of the complex. To give this important navigation feature the attention it deserves, the project team worked with graphic design studio Büro Uebele to develop a 130-metre-long suspended lighting installation inspired by neon signage. While many of the characters in this glowing ceilingscape are actual letters, others are more abstract hieroglyphics. The result is a retro-meets futuristic display that reflects the rich history and ongoing evolution of communication.
Building off the visual identity that they established with that artwork, Büro Uebele also created a custom font carried throughout the entire project. By installing directional labels on all the project’s structural columns, the design team reinforces the idea of office urbanism, organizing a wide array of food, work and social spaces around easy-to-navigate street-like pathways.
Elegant logic also informed architect RKW’s disciplined approach to the project’s finishes. Clean lines and a restrained colour palette form the backbone of most Serviceplan environments, setting the stage for the project’s many select pops of bold colour. Textile wallcoverings with graphic grid arrangements and artworks by artists like Anselm Kiefer and Tony Cragg all help to differentiate various zones from one another and give each corner its own distinct impact. These visual elements complement the project’s fun furniture selections, which include a winding, 30-metre-long coral sofa that becomes its own form of wayfinding system.
The buildings’ offices and communal spaces are placed around soaring atriums with long couches and a central harvest-style table to encourage interaction. The design elements, from ceiling panels and heavy felt curtains to paint colours and custom lighting fixtures, help differentiate between lively communal areas and quieter, more intimate ones. Combining smart spatial planning with strong visual landmarks, the team behind Serviceplan has created House of Communication as a cohesive office that celebrates the joy of exploration.
Team Martin Henn with Joachim Grund, Alexandra Berger, Tanja Dietsch, Andreas Fuchs, Attila Horvath, Katrin Jacobs, Deborah Klajmic, Yvonne Koll, Laura Kummer, Anja Liesenfeld and Christiane Reichenbach
A connective artery dubbed the “Track” (which doubles as a gallery space) unites three buildings via bridges at this large Munich-based communications agency.