Swiss company Laubscher needed space for a large conference room, a cafeteria and its own museum. The new rooms look modern, spacious and crisp thanks to Wilkhahn office furniture. As one of the leading companies in the industry, Laubscher makes precision parts for the medical technology, watchmaking and automotive industries.
Office building update creates more space
Laubscher’s located in a idyllic spot in Täuffelen on Lake Biel in the canton of Bern. It was founded 175 years ago and has grown considerably over the past few decades. Since 2001, Laubscher has had several new buildings constructed and office premises dating back to 1945 remodeled.
The final (for the time being) development phase includes a new staff cafeteria and reception area. The reception space is also now home to the company’s own museum. Biel-based architectural firm Leimer Tschanz, which already had a good track record with planning and constructing several new buildings on the company’s premises in the past, was appointed to transform the building.
Ergonomic and versatile office furniture from Wilkhahn
When choosing the furniture, the challenge was to find chairs that looked prestigious, but were robust and practical at the same time. “It wasn’t easy to find a chair that met all our workforce’s requirements,” comments CEO Raphael Laubscher when asked about the complex planning process. He went on to explain that people on the production line do sit in conference rooms with oily hands and that the same applied to the cafeteria. “On the other hand, the board room does require a more prestigious look,” said Laubscher.
An Aarberg-based company called Gehri was responsible for the interior. It designed and made the exhibition spaces in the museum, the tables in the conference rooms and the table in the board room. The other tables and chairs are Wilkhahn models.
As Wilkhahn’s sales consultant for the project, Hannes Schneider felt it was important to involve the client, architect and Gehri extensively in the decision-making process. Which explains why everyone met several times to look at samples. “I want to give the customer the opportunity to help shape the design. If the customer’s enthusiastic about the products used, we don’t need to sell them anything else.”
Occo, Modus and Timetable won the day
The final choice was for two Occo multipurpose chair models by jehs + laub, the Modus conference chair by Klaus Franck and Werner Sauer and the Timetable table by Andreas Störiko. The Occo SC side chairs with a metal frame and no upholstery were chosen for the cafeteria and multipurpose space because they’re exceptionally lightweight and can be cleaned. The mobile Timetable tables with their flip-top table tops make the spaces versatile and easy to reconfigure. The flip-top mechanism means the tables are easy to handle and they’re very durable too.
The smaller conference rooms feature Occo chairs with black cushioning and untreated wooden legs. The practical multipurpose chairs with their distinctive cut-out sections at the rear are very comfortable, enable various postures and their compact form makes them ideal anywhere.
In the board room, Modus chairs are grouped around the table built by Gehri. The task chair stands apart for its excellent comfort and seminal aesthetic, which lends it a high-status look. With its transparent mesh backrest, sculpted swivel arms and distinctive cut-out sections at the rear, the range has long been considered a classic item of furniture.
The remodeling project is a full success and everyone involved impressed. Raphael Laubscher enjoys taking new employees, customers or classes of school children around the company’s newly designed museum. The workforce and visitors really like the appealing cafeteria with patio. And Raphael Laubscher goes on to say that the large conference and meeting rooms with their comfortable and versatile furniture are worth their weight in gold, particularly during the pandemic.
The transparency of the glass extension at Laubscher reflects the modern production methods employed by this manufacturer of precision parts. The impressive-looking building in the center of the village indicates the importance of this employer for the region. Wilkhahn’s versatile furniture echoes the building’s clear, modernist style.