In the Financial Times’ European ranking, St Gallen University is one of the leading European business schools, ahead of all German universities. And “insight with impact” is its clear vision. This slogan summarises the business school’s core values for the future, which are an entrepreneurial innovative spirit, a responsible mindset and an integrative approach. It goes without saying that its latest project, theCO, mirrors these values consistently, not just in terms of the result but the route taken to achieve it. Which is why the concept for the new co-working space was developed in collaboration with the students.
In contrast to the library, they didn’t want theCO to be a silent place but somewhere where people could meet and engage with one another. What makes it so special is that, alongside students, doctoral candidates and the university’s employees, the general public are also invited to join in. During lectures or seminars, anyone interested can get actively involved in research or teaching.
The openness of the concept is reflected in theCO’s interior design. The open-plan space is around a generous 700 square metres in size. Light-coloured curtains have been added instead of walls in order to provide both audio and visual partitions of the various sections from each other if required. As a result, the area can spontaneously handle different requirements so that people can brainstorm for a seminar, focus on their work in a group or a public debate can take place. The furniture for the interior needed to be very flexible because of all the different and constantly changing ways the co-working space is used. Which is why the university wanted Wilkhahn solutions that were as mobile, versatile and combinable with one another as possible.
The Confair folding table and mobile Timetable Shift high tables (both designed by Andreas Störiko) impressed the decision-makers. While the foldable Confair can be used as a workspace for one person, or for seminars when combined with other folding tables, Timetable Shift is ideal for meetings and anyone who wants to stand up while working. Both models in theCO come with castors of course and the folding table can be flipped up and wheeled away in no time if lectures or a party are on the agenda.
The choice of seating was governed by all the different ways the space can be used. Thanks to its flexible backrest, the Occo multipurpose chair (design: jehs + laub) offers superb comfort. Just like the tables, it can come with castors so that it can be spontaneously wheeled to where it’s needed. Wilkhahn’s two stools are perfect for impromptu meet-ups or when people want to get creative. As a height-adjustable sitting-standing stool, Stitz (design: ProduktEntwicklung Roericht) isn’t just ideal for all sorts of purposes, it’s also very flexible. The same applies to the Stand-up stools, which are excellent choices for any brainstorming session at theCO.
The Aula multipurpose chair (design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger) can be set up in rows for conferences and lectures in an instant and stacked away again if required. The Insit upholstered bench with backrest (design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger) is an inviting prospect for socialising in the alumni lounge afterwards.
But despite all this space for getting down to work or being creative, there’s also somewhere to relax. Students can take a breather in the garden or pick some fresh mint and use it to make a drink in the café themselves.
The Wilkhahn furniture reflects the flexibility, quality and zeitgeist, making it a perfect match for the university