Durst Phototechnik AG

Address: Julius-Durst-Str 11, 9900 Lienz, Austria

Sector: Creative & Media

Year: 2013

Architect: DI Peter Paul Rohracher

Durst Phototechnik AG's new company operations in Lienz provides space for people and machines. Whilst digital printing machines are assembled and tested in the large assembling hall, desk work is done in the neighbouring office wing. The workrooms are light and airy. Bene's office furniture, namely the space efficient workplace program CUBE-S and transparent dividing walls, make an essential contribution to the pleasant ambiance. The working atmosphere is said to have improved thanks to the well-thought out colour design.

Many details that reveal themselves to the observer are not what they seem; they are reproductions. Many patterns on the walls and also a few of the Mimikry cork flooring look as if they are real - the printing quality is outstanding.  You can tell immediately that Lienz based Durst specialises in the production and assembly of digital printing machines and entire printing machine lines. The B2B company supplies printing companies who print on paper, plastic, glass, ceramics and parquet flooring.

The view from the window in the first floor meeting room directly on the East Tyrolean Iselsberg is, however, real and 100% natural. "The aim we all had in mind was to construct a new office tract and assembly hall for Durst which was state-of-the-art with regards to material and functional processes; but at the same time would not seal itself off from the beauty of its environment," says architect Peter Paul Rohracher. The result of the design consideration is a 4,000 sqm large assembling hall with an homogeneous, white façade and  huge windows fitted with crystal fragmented glass.

It might be that this is a tribute to the rugged edges of the surrounding mountains. The glass recesses, up to ten meters tall, definitely ensure, however, that there is enough daylight for the precision assembly of the industrial printers. Whilst the roof construction of the airy hall is made of steel and wood, the façade had to be made from concrete. The massive construction dampens the vibrations of the passing railway and safeguards the fine machine components in the hall from unwanted vibrations and electromagnetic radiation from the overhead cables.

Like working in a park

Next to the already existing research centre for inkjet technology - only a few steps through the park, which is at closer inspection a nicely composed, lavishly planted parking lot including rockery and biotope - you can find the two-storey office tract with workplaces for about 20 members of staff. The top storey arches over the main building base like a boomerang and creates a covered entrance area with weatherproof ground level drive.

The entire new building has been designed as an ultra low energy house and is temperature controlled using ground heat and heat pumps. A heat recovery system ensures that valuable energy is fed back into the system during all seasons. The materials used here are reinforced concrete and exterior cladding sheets in the outside area, and glass, carpet and cork flooring inside. Insulated with rock wool and natural fibres.

A spirit of innovation in the office and during the planning process

"I find the airy ambiance in the office corresponds to the spirit of our company," says Richard Piock, CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG, whilst he walks through the hallway and greets his members of staff through the transparent glass well. "The office furniture by Bene contributed greatly to this ambiance in addition to the light, transparent architecture." The furniture program integrates seamlessly into the architectural design by Peter Paul Rohracher. Colours and materials paint a bigger picture.

"I have been following Bene's work for a long time and I am happy that we were able to work together on this project," says Piock. "The wonderful thing was that Bene really got intensively involved during the planning process and not only scored with a diverse product range but also with their advise and planning services." Or, to say it in the words of the architect: "Bene has understood the architectural concept and thought one step further."

A total of 16 workplaces, distributed over several individual and group offices, were furnished. Desks, pinboards, shelves, drawer elements and folder cabinets are from the CUBE_S product range which Bene developed solely for open space requirements. The modular elements help to condense the space needed for people and office materials into a formally minimalist, homogeneous unit. The workplaces provide a calm and clearly-arranged setting despite different functions and generous storage spaces.

Transparency and best-practice at your service

The offices are separated from the hallway with dividing walls of the RG and R2 series. The two-panel glazing ensures ideal acoustic insulation from the hallway and ensures at the same the necessary privacy between Durst staff and their B2B customers. The glass elements had a grass motif printed on them prior to being fitted. As you may have guessed, the printer for the job was provided by Durst.

The meeting room which is located above the entrance area has a wonderful view of the Iselsberg panorama and features tables and chairs from the Filo Conference series. The necessary media technology is hidden in the media furniture. White printed cork flooring provides variety and also stokes one's curiosity. Here, too, when servicing customers, you get an effective demonstration of the range that Durst can provide.

Individual colour for every member of staff

Probably the nicest anecdote is about the different colours at the staff's workplaces. The pinboards were coloured individually. "In cooperation with the client, we had the idea to determine the colour gradation of the pinboards using the so-called Tyrolean figure wheel," explains architect Rohracher. By entering the staff's birthdays, it was possible to find the right colour for every member of staff. "It is funny how yellow and magenta are the dominant colours. However, the most important aspect is that the staff can identify their allocated colour  with chromatic random generator."

What Managing Director Richard Piock mainly remembers about the old office was that it was more hectic and louder. "Now," he says, "we have finally found our peace. The colours, the interiors, the entire project contributed to our team work, generosity and contributes to a far better working atmosphere."

It seems that the thirst for a beautiful workplace could be quenched.

I longed for an ultramodern factory, similar to the glass Volkswagen factory by VW in Dresden, yet something that would still fit into the mountain landscape and would make a statement with regards to transparency, sustainability and well-being in the workplace. And that is what I got.

Richard Piock, CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG