For their new studio, ahrens & grabenhorst architects in Hannover, Germany, were looking for more space and a communicative working environment. Also, the increased number of employees made it inevitable the move into a larger space. An additional factor was to move from the periphery of the city into its center.
Thus, the architects converted a former bank floor in the heart of the city into their new office location.
The architects found the ideal location in the Georgstraße – one of the best addresses in the city. Directly opposite of the city’s opera, which was built be the renowned architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves (1788-1864), the architects found their new site.
The original building, in which the office is situated now, has been badly damaged during the war. It was back in the 1980s that an extension was added to the ground floor still featuring the original historic façade of the building. Yet, the extension very much corresponds to the zeitgeist of the 1980s. Something that was also true for the office rooms inside before they were converted by ahrens & grabenhorst architects.
The architects could undertake the comprehensive conversion, after the bank had moved out. Prof. Gesche Grabenhorst and Roger Ahrens, heads of the architecture office said: "Our aim was to find an appropriate design vocabulary for the 1980s building and to create a communicative working environment for our employees."
The internal staircase of the building now leads employees and visitors into a black box, forming the dramaturgic prelude to the newly created architecture studio. The exceptional entrance situation connects to a generous corridor, presenting the office logo in white letters standing out like a relief on the longitudinal wall.
A broad glass door opens up towards a lounge, offering comfortable sitting accommodation and serving as the office’s retreat. Transparent curtains, a Persian carpet and two mushroom-shaped lamps help create a relaxed atmosphere. If desired, a projector shows pictures or presentations to inform customers about projects.
The studio is laid out in an open, circular arrangement around an inner courtyard, with the main working space being located between the lounge and the management area. This room accommodates the employee’s work stations in order to allow for a more transparent, internal communication.
In addition to the natural light from the glass atrium, linear pendant lights create a constant and pleasant working light. The white color of the PU floor covering walls and furniture forms an aesthetic unity in the diversity of zones and is only interrupted by the twenty meter long fresco attached to the entire wall. The architects have designed the 1625 colors of the RAL D2 design system onto the wall, so that they form a colorful artwork and act as an inspiration for the project work.