Aula for an auditorium

Wilkhahn’s Aula multipurpose chair (design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger) is a perfect match for the auditorium in the new Microsoft headquarters in Schiphol. Photo: Michael van Oosten

With conference calls, e-mails and home offices, remote working’s possible any time, anywhere. But what does that mean for a bricks-and-mortar office? In the analogue age, offices primarily focused on the functionality traditionally demanded. Nowadays, however, other aspects take centre stage. What’s required are spaces for different teams, meeting points for informal interaction, or somewhere people can withdraw to and recharge their batteries. These are the new quality metrics that office design is gauged by.

Over 70% of the space at Microsoft’s headquarters in the Netherlands is open to visitors, employees and the company’s partners, creating a transparent, open vibe and sense of community. Image: design by D/DOCK

The refurbishment of the Microsoft headquarters in the Netherlands at Schiphol airport almost takes it a step further. The motto of the new Hub for the Business Community, some 8,000 sq m in size, is that “It’s a Home Away from Home.” D/Dock’s interior designers called the concept Micro Polis because its goal is to give users a wide range of spaces, just like a small town.


The Stage, a spacious and versatile auditorium for events, lies at the heart of the concept and is where presentations, meetings, training courses and parties are held. It was important that the seating could be assembled and disassembled in no time. Consequently, D/Dock’s interior designers picked Wilkhahn’s Aula multipurpose chair (design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger) for this and several other reasons. Because the practical, all-plastic chair isn’t just easy to stack and stow. Its seat shell’s shape, elasticity and ergonomic form delivers superb comfort and support for everyone, however long an event lasts.

The parallel alignment of the armrests’ angle with the back legs on Aula (design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger) creates a stylish and neat impression in the space where functions are held. Photo: Michael van Oosten
With or without cushioning, with versatile inline connectors to link them up, magnetic clips for row numbers and slot-on writing tablets, Aula (design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger) offers maximum flexibility for events at Microsoft’s HQ in Schiphol. Photo: Michael van Oosten

What’s more, the multipurpose chairs come with versatile inline connectors to join them up. Thanks to the magnetic clips for number tags, people going to presentations can easily find their seat. For training courses, writing tablets can be slotted onto the armrests so that attendees can take notes in an analogue and digital form comfortably.

The Stage is a hybrid space, it could host theater-like events, presentations, seminars and so on. The space can be completely open or closed off. Because of this flexibility we’ve chosen the Wilkhahn Aula chairs, which have a great design for these kind of functional spaces

Alexander Tranter, designer at D/DOCK

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