A Look Inside Continental’s New Hannover Headquarters
Automotive company Continental recently hired architecture and interior design firm Ippolito Fleitz Group to design their new office in Hannover, Germany.
“We translated Continental’s values into a spacious and differentiated work world, which fulfils its requirements for agility and a strong identity in equal measure. With this flexible and modular spatial concept, Continental can continue to remain agile long into the future. Continental is using its new campus to focus on networking, flexible collaboration and communication across departmental boundaries. The complex, which was designed by HENN, connects two buildings, separated by an eight-lane road, via a 71-metre-long bridge. The Loop – visible from inside and outside the building as a Continental-yellow band – links an array of spatial typologies with each other.
We continue this idea in developing the work worlds, by moving all central routes to the outside along the façade. The result is a large, compact area covering almost the entire depth of the building, which various freestanding modules divide into manageable and tangible neighbourhoods. This allows a landscape of different workplace typologies to unfold: from dynamic places of exchange and encounter to places of concentrated work and retreat. The individual islands keep a generous distance from their neighbours, enabling new and surprising lines of sight to the outside to emerge. The walkways are orientated in such a way that they always lead to a destination, be it a communication locus or a view out into nature.
The central walkways along the façade are demarcated by darker carpeted zones and a sloping ceiling accompanied by a recessed lighting track, providing clear orientation. Filter elements and screens on the desks form a buffer zone towards the work areas. The desk panels ensure discretion, but at the same time their ledges turn them into points of arrival and extend an invitation to communicate. In order to respond as flexibly as possible to the requirements of individual departments and areas, we developed a proprietary room- in-room system. These modular boxes are available in various configurations, in different sizes and with differing features: from telephone boxes to large conference rooms. No matter which function they serve: All boxes offer a excellent sound insulation to the outside and silent ventilation to the inside, thus ensuring excellent working conditions. The modular canon is completed by alcoves, seating niches, arenas and various lounges. We organise these modules and the workstations themselves on the individual levels to create new landscapes, which do not follow a fixed grid, but are tailored to the respective requirements. Instead of serial rows of tables, communities are created in compact spatial zones, which enter into dialogue with their neighbours.
Visual bridges are also created in the meeting rooms, where the floor often spills out from the interior into the walkway areas. Many carpets are designed in a yellow-orange colour gradient – a highly dynamic image and an example of how we set colour accents using Continental’s CI colour. The brand message is not over-simplified here, but is used selectively, rendering it all the more intense. Modes of work are permanently changing, to which we respond with flexible spatial concepts. The constructive design of Continental’s work worlds therefore reduces the need for structural interventions to a minimum. Instead, the aim is to adapt the office environment to new requirements through minimally invasive interventions. Continental’s sustainability aspirations are also future-oriented, with the campus aiming for ‘DGNB Platinum’ status. Vegan leather, a Continental product, is used and the thermal component activation of the ceiling ensures optimum energy efficiency.“