Client: ahrens & grabenhorst
Construction Period: 2014
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 390 m²
Conversion of Office Rooms in Georgstrasse 38, Hanover
For our new studio, we were looking for more space and a communicative working environment. Also, the increased number of employees made it inevitable to move into a larger space. An additional factor was to relocate our work from the periphery of the city into its center.
Thus, we converted a former bank floor in the heart of the city into our new office space.
We found the ideal location in the Georgstrasse – one of the best addresses in the city. Directly opposite of the city’s opera, which was built be the renowned architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves (1788-1864), we found our new site.
The original building, in which the office is situated now, has been badly damaged during the war. It was back in the 1980s that an extension was added to the ground floor still featuring the original historic façade of the building. Yet, the extension very much corresponds to the zeitgeist of the 1980s. Something that was also true for the office rooms inside before they were converted.
We could undertake the comprehensive conversion, after the bank had moved out. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst and Roger Ahrens, heads of the architecture office said: "Our aim was to find an appropriate design vocabulary for the 1980s building and to create a communicative working environment for our employees."
The internal staircase of the building now leads employees and visitors into a black box, forming the dramaturgic start to the newly created architecture studio. The exceptional entrance situation connects to a generous corridor, presenting the office logo in white letters standing out like a relief on the longitudinal wall.
A broad glass door opens up towards a lounge, offering comfortable seating and serving as the office’s retreat. Transparent curtains, a Persian carpet and two mushroom-shaped lamps help create a relaxed atmosphere. If desired, a projector shows pictures or presentations to inform customers about projects.
The studio is laid out in an open, circular arrangement around an inner courtyard with the main working space being located between the lounge and the management area. This room accommodates the employee’s work stations in order to allow for a more transparent, internal communication.
In addition to the natural light from the glass atrium, linear pendant lights create a constant and pleasant working light. The white color of the PU floor covering walls and furniture forms an aesthetic unity in the diversity of zones and is only interrupted by the twenty meter long fresco attached to the entire wall. We have designed the 1,625 colors of the RAL D2 design system onto the wall, so that they form a colorful artwork and act as an inspiration for the project work. It is the first RAL design wall in the world of this kind.
The elegant meeting zone is located between the courtyard and the management area. The room can be separated from the remaining working area with custom-made acoustic curtains (by Création Baumann, Switzerland). Two large white conference tables and white leather chairs in combination with three adjustable steel pendant luminaries generate a focused atmosphere for meetings. The working places of the PR department and the management directly adjoin this meeting area.
A generous window front provides plenty of daylight. Magazines, catalogues and publications of the offices are stored in a large bookshelf covering the entire wall. The shelf, as well as all work tables and the sideboards, providing much storage for project files and work materials, were custom-made following our design.
Another area for retreat is the kitchen, located in a small indentation and thus separated from the working areas. A pleasant atmosphere is created by the white bistro tables, chairs with transparent sitting shells in a 1950s-design and the intimate lighting accentuations of the pendant luminaries in combination with the large pop art wall print. To sum up, there is nothing left of the 1980s chic of the bank’s service hall.