Sustainable building close to Berlin’s Südkreuz station: Vattenfall’s German headquarters

The new German headquarters of the Swedish energy company Vattenfall is a unique six-storey, wooden hybrid building in Berlin. Designed by architect Tchoban Voss for the product developer Edge, the building is the largest of its kind in Germany and has been awarded the highest DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) sustainability certification.  1,600 employees work in this multifunctional newbuild with a flexible floor space of 22,000 square metres.

The local company de Winder Architekten was commissioned with the interior design. In addition to Vattenfall’s blue and yellow company colours and a clever colour coding system for the individual departments, the main focus is on elements made of wood and other natural materials. Well-placed black accents round off the overall look.

The building’s focal point is its four impressive wooden treelike structures of varying heights reaching up from the ground. These structures are connected to the adjacent office levels by elegant stairways that together form an architectural communication network. On top of each of the four “trees” is a round platform with tables and chairs, creating an inviting setting for informal meetings and communication. From up high, employees have the perfect view of the communal spaces on the ground floor: a restaurant, coffee area and co-working space.

Thonet, Vattenfall Berlin
Thonet, Vattenfall Berlin
Thonet, Vattenfall Berlin

The seating in the café takes the form of 64 Thonet chairs, in this case from the 404 range, which is based on a design by German designer Stefan Diez and inspired by its historic predecessors from the Thonet bentwood collection. The comfortable 404 chair is characterised by an innovative construction principle: the bent chair legs and armrests meet together in a “knot” beneath the seat, which connects the pieces of the chair without the need for a frame or screws. This moulded plywood technology ensures that the seat has the necessary reinforcement in the middle and lends the chair a minimalist design that is shaped towards the edges. The seat is thus a strikingly moulded design element. With an ergonomically shaped seat and a backrest that flexes, the 404 F does not dictate a specific seating position. It’s the perfect choice to offer visitors to the Vattenfall German headquarters the best in comfortable seating. The grain of the black-stained oak remains visible, and the Thonet pieces are the perfect match for this sustainable building close to Berlin’s Südkreuz station.

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