A future of banking prototype

01.11.2017 | by Wilkhahn Germany
Sparkasse LeerWittmund, photos: Werner Huthmacher

The architect Benjamin Ellwanger and ellwanger menzel architekten ingenieure created goals with Sparkasse LeerWittmund that they wanted the building to achieve. These included open-plan spaces to encourage team building and communication, no hierarchies and workspaces evident in the architecture, natural and high-quality materials, matt surfaces, a range of different working environments, as well as an office concept that aims to increase the average rate an office worker stands up and moves about from 15 to 50%. An atmosphere that projected a feeling of well-being, akin to a home, was to enhance employee loyalty and give customers a feeling of assurance. The Sparkasse’s areas dedicated to customers are all about feeling as relaxed as you would do at a friend’s place.

Large customer service area with sculptural staircase, photo: Werner Huthmacher
Meeting room with Chassis chairs, photo: Werner Huthmacher

The around 1,000 sq m customer service area lies at the heart of the new building. In the consulting areas customers can sit on Wilkhahn’s Neos cantilever chairs and employees on IN office task chairs with their motion-driven Trimension® technology. A sculpturally designed staircase connects up the various storeys whose walls navigate towards the customer service area like inner facades.

Service desks in the customer service area with IN office task chairs, photo: Werner Huthmacher
Office with customised Graph conference table and Graph conference chairs, photo: Werner Huthmacher

Employees can choose between around ten different working environments as well as numerous conference and meeting rooms. This meant that Wilkhahn had to customise its Graph, Timetable and Logon conference table systems to a very large extent.

Communication-driven office with 10 workspace types and the IN office task chair, photo: Werner Huthmacher
Meeting room with large touchscreen and Stand-up stool, photo: Werner Huthmacher

While providing the technology and power supply for the conference table is something Wilkhahn does every day, making the solid-wood Graph conference table, shaped like a large open-centred triangle for 32 people, was a special challenge. It’s rounded off by leather-covered Graph conference chairs whose supporting leaf spring requires no further mechanisms but provides three-dimensional seated comfort.

Conference room with Graph conference chairs and Graph conference table, photo: Werner Huthmacher
Meeting room with Chassis chairs, photo: Werner Huthmacher

Because the conference rooms also play a role in the concept where the architects aimed to stimulate employees to move as much as possible – from the layout of the various functional areas to the access routes and the position of the furniture to the choice of seating.

Cafe at Sparkasse LeerWittmund, photo: Werner Huthmacher
Meeting room with Neos cantilever chairs, photo: Werner Huthmacher

The IN office task chair with its patented Trimension® technology plays a key role in encouraging movement. And there’s Stand-up, a sitting-standing stool located in a consultation room with a large touchscreen. As a visitor chair or for meetings with a small number of people, the architects also chose Wilkhahn’s all-rounder, the Chassis chair, that comes in white and underscores the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The impressive overall concept, consisting of the architecture, organisational structures and furnishing, could become a magnet for anyone interested in contemporary styles of working in the banking business.

Click here to visit the architects’ website: http://ecarchitekten.de

Large conference room with customised Graph solid oak conference table and Graph conference chairs, photo: Werner Huthmacher
Overview of the central atrium, photo: Werner Huthmacher

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