Herren der Schöpfung

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The 'Alnatura Campus' is located on the site of former barracks in southwest Darmstadt. For the planning and implementation of the project, the organic grocery chain embraced the highest standards of modern work culture and sustainability. Their collaboration with Vitra produced an open-plan work environment in Europe's largest office building with a rammed-earth façade. In designing the two-storey office space with work islands, meeting zones and quiet areas for individual retreat, Vitra analysed the company's space requirements and use of workstations, and employees were invited to participate in workshops during the planning phase with a project-specific sample library of structural elements, furniture and lighting. Alnatura had already outfitted its previous offices with Vitra products. As these were still in good condition after up to 25 years of use, it was decided to promote sustainability by keeping these furnishings and integrating them in the new interior.
Interior architecture
Vitra Consulting & Planning Studio + smow F
Eduardo Perez
«We wanted to develop the most outstanding office we could think of. Not just in terms of design. We wanted a place where people would love to work and be creative. Something that mirrors our culture. There was no alternative but to partner up with one of the most sophisticated design companies there is: Vitra. A guerrilla joint venture was formed.»
Markus Schuhmacher, CEO Herren der Schöpfung
To start this collaboration, Vitra first familiarised itself with the customer’s agile methods and softwares – Trello, Slack, Dropbox. The advantages of the agile method quickly became apparent: Herren der Schöpfung was able to directly and straightforwardly contribute its creative expertise to the planning process, and was closely involved in every phase of the project. From the product developers, architects and sales experts at Vitra to the client as well as the retail dealer smow, who was responsible for the implementation, the project participants were always kept up to date thanks to the innovative software solutions – as if they were all standing in front of a whiteboard and working with Post-It processes. The time savings on the project were tremendous – the simplified communication and rapid information exchange far surpass the traditional waterfall method.
The result is an office that fulfils the client’s expectations down to the smallest details and that has been designed to boost their agile way of working. A large kitchen forms the vital heart of the office where people come together to cook, converse and interact. Several spatial installations made of sustainable cork define conference and retreat areas, telephone booths and a DJ console. The workspaces have a black colour scheme in order to foster creativity. And verdant plantings that seem to grow on a grid mounted on the ceiling not only ensure a healthy indoor climate, but connect the various zones into a unified whole.
The office environment of Herren der Schöpfung does not overtly reflect the agile methods that it serves. Agility, as Vitra has learned from this project, is complex. It is not merely a mode of project execution. It is corporate culture, attitude, management method, software and space.
Product overview