Allendorf (Eder)
Interior Design blocher partners
Photographer Joachim Grothus


At the headquarters of the Viessmann company in Allendorf (Eder), not far from the Thonet factory in the neighbouring town of Frankenberg, a new company restaurant has been built in an 80-by-30-metre, pavilion-style building made of steel, glass and wood. In this new space, Viessman, a well-known manufacturer of energy systems, can now provide lunch for 1,000 of its employees every day. The building, designed by the architect firm RSE Planungsgesellschaft, is however more than somewhere to serve food. While trends such as remote work and digital connectivity continue to dominate many people’s working lives, the staff canteen takes on special significance in companies where most of the work still has to be done on-site. It is a place to connect with others, a place where employees can take a break before heading back to work with a clear head. The Viessmann building not only features premium interior design, but also focuses on proving nutritious meals as an important part of the company’s health promotion measures.


Thonet furniture can be found wherever people meet

Lounge-Chair: 808, 809
Ottoman: 808 H
Lounge-Chair: 808, 809
Ottoman: 808 H

For the interior design, the team at Blocher Partner turned to their neighbour for several chair designs, sourcing pieces from Thonet that ideally fit the concept of the restaurant as a place of communication. Thonet furniture can be found wherever people meet, exchange ideas, take a quick break or engage in mobile working. Thonet chairs bring people together, and have been doing so since the company’s success story began back in the coffee houses of the 19th century.

Thonet’s 118 range provided the perfect chair for this project. Sebastian Herkner’s design with a moulded plywood seat is an exceptionally comfortable classic wooden chair that lends an air of subtle elegance to every room without detracting from the other details. With their fine details and clean shape, the chairs fit elegantly into the new building, affectionately dubbed “Vi” by the employees. The designers opted for 16 chairs with a white glaze and 16 with a warm-grey stain to create an inviting setting for a sociable lunch.

Seating groups comprised of the comfortable 808 lounge chair and the lower version, the 809 – both designs of Munich-based design studio Formstelle – offer space for quiet retreat as well as communication. The lounge chairs play with the contrast between protective shell and openness. The back of the 808 is especially reminiscent of a classic wingback chair designed for seclusion and protection. Viessmann employees can relax into the leather-covered shell during their breaks. At the same time, the arrangement of the lounge chairs is also intended to encourage conversation. The chairs’ light-coloured upholstery provides a contrast with the classic black of the shell, thus adding visual accents to the café area of the restaurant. 




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