Address: Schwarzwiesenstrasse 3, 3340 Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Austria
Sector: Commerce & Industry
Architect: Ortner & Ortner
Office planning: Bene International Corporate Office Design
In 2009 our head office in Waidhofen was expanded with an extension designed by the architects Ortner & Ortner. The result was a three-storey, transparent, reinforced concrete skeletal construction, 44 meters in length and 22 meters deep. "The building's depth presented a challenge, but also an opportunity to redefine the office as a workspace,” explained Ortner at the time. “The expansive central area of the building was ideal as a zone for relaxation and communication.” Now the interior space at Bene’s head office has been redesigned as a Bene Inspiration Center. Here Bene illustrates a new approach to workplace design – moving away from sterile monotony, towards a creative space with different areas for work/play/relaxation.
The open ground floor includes the reception area, meeting spaces that can be partitioned off, informal seating and its own generous “coffice” area. The atmosphere feels like a designer hotel. “Customers, guests and colleagues are welcomed here, in a delightfully appealing environment. It is the perfect embodiment of Bene hospitality,” says Hans Peter Wunsch, Head of iCOD, International Corporate Office Design. The choice of furniture reflects the function of the area: Bene Bay Chairs and Club Chairs, PARCS American Diners, PIXEL, and NOOXS Think Tanks create the right atmosphere and suitable acoustics for the occasional uninterrupted discussion. Plenty of green enhances the relaxed mood and brings the wonderful natural surroundings of Waidhofen into the interior space. The new IDEA LAB, and a new showroom with our Executive Furniture highlights, display the latest products from the Bene portfolio.
On the first floor the workspace layout is divided into several smaller islands. Workstations from the ranges CUBE_S, FRAME_S, TIMBA and Delta by Bene are combined with NOOXS Think Tanks to facilitate concentrated work. An elliptical glass cutaway in the ceiling allows extra daylight to stream into the centre of the building. “The varied settings include traditional workstations combined with zones for communication and retreat. Open and closed structures define this space and offer diverse options for different styles of work,” says Hans Peter Wunsch. On the floor above is the open-plan office of the various development and design teams. At the centre of this colourful, urban-style office landscape is a kind of market square, with a glass cubicle and several alternative zones for socialising, from Causeway to Wing Chairs, and Toguna, the intimate discussion cylinder from the PARCS range. Overhead two enormous domed rooflights stretch towards the sky. They capture the diffuse light from the north and direct it downwards.
An unusual feature of the entire Bene Inspiration Center is the way the workplaces are arranged: desk workers sit all along the glass facade and enjoy the view of the landscape outside, while the managers’ workplaces face in towards the centre. Open and transparent spaces encourage collaboration between departments. Here there are no boundaries for innovative and creative thinkers.
The finishing touch for the Bene Inspiration Center was a display area with old Bene classic designs, a wall of fame, and a viewing platform with a window into the production hall. This offers customers and visitors yet another way to experience the Bene brand.