The House of Communication for the Serviceplan Group creates a distinctive spatial identity for the world's largest owner-managed agency group for innovative communication, rooted in the company’s ideals of openness and collaboration. Connecting three separate buildings via bridges, the design concept brings together 40 different agencies and 1,700 employees under one roof on the iCampus, a new innovation district near Munich's Ostbahnhof, developed by R&S Immobilienmanagement. HENN devised the headquarters as a small city, a concept known as office urbanism. Like a city, the House of Communication includes spaces to meet, eat, and relax, alongside meeting rooms and individual work areas.
HENN Interior introduced a central axis connecting all three atrium buildings, designed by RKW Architektur+ and KAAN Architecten. The axis and main circulation route, named the Innovation Track, runs throughout the first floor of the entire complex. Visitors enter the Track via a striking six-meter wide staircase at the entrance. The Track’s connective purpose is highlighted by a 130-meter-long light installation, inspired by classic neon signage which had been designed by Büro Uebele. It also serves as an event and exhibition space: pieces from the private art collection of the company owners are on show, including work by Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz and Tony Cragg. With art tours and space for events, the building is opened up to the public.
HENN Interiors worked with local manufacturers to develop exclusive elements, including textiles and bespoke lighting pieces. A vintage design piece – a robust and minimalistic chair that was used by Germany’s police departments in the 1950s – was reissued and developed into a whole line of furniture including benches, stools and tables. A custom-built flexible shelving system also serves as a multifunctional room divider. Textile wall coverings with square grids in different colors and sizes are a homage to the geometric architecture of the facade.
The design follows a distinct visual identity developed for Serviceplan based on the idea of a uniform. Like a well-tailored suit that can be styled with statement pieces and colorful accents, the Serviceplan uniform has clear lines and a monochrome color palette in black, white and gray, creating a coherent whole across all areas and agencies. Coarse industrial materials like steel grating, raw steel and black-stained wood are used throughout. Serviceplan’s ethos of communication and integration is expressed through unique, oversized furniture pieces – there is room for 100 people on a 30-meter-long sofa upholstered in bold, coral Raf Simons fabric, and space for 80 employees at a single wooden table in the canteen. The monochrome backdrop and simple furniture of the Serviceplan uniform allow colorful and oversized statement pieces to pop.
Florian Haller, CEO Serviceplan Group: “The new House of Communication serves us all as a vibrant community hub, thereby fostering integration. An office people enjoy coming to because they WANT to be here, not because they HAVE to be. I firmly believe that this attractive and agile environment is perfect for future-proofing the Serviceplan Group and for continuing to position ourselves as an innovative partner and attractive employer."
HENN is an interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers, designers and thinkers with offices in Berlin, Munich, Beijing and Shanghai. It is a third-generation architecture studio that has developed unique technical expertise over decades of experience in the fields of workplace design, education, science and research, health, automotive and culture. HENN designs spaces to empower people and organizations to move towards a better future. Their commitment is guided by the belief that architecture can be an active agent of change and a driver of innovation.