The executive office of the twenty-first century
Agility and stability. The headquarters of one of Europe’s largest banks brings together the best of two worlds – thanks to furniture by Walter Knoll.
Every morning, the chairman takes his place on the upholstered seat of a Leadchair Executive. He likes the look of the shining metal base, which matches the chrome legs of his Exec-V desk. The desk is two and a half meters long and one meter wide, and it is from here that the manager leads an international bank. The man values discretion, which is why he is not identified here. The entire management board appreciates the virtues of restraint, naturalness and perfection. The headquarters is located in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. In the past two years, more than four floors have been redesigned – for working, receiving guests and dining.
The interior is intended to support daily work. And of course, the surroundings should exude a sense of esteem – esteem for the employees and clients, but also esteem and respect for the responsibility that is borne on a daily basis here. That’s why the choice of furniture fell to Walter Knoll, whose materials, forms, surfaces and details directly communicate these values. The Scale-Media conference tables, Jangwa hand-knotted carpets, Storage System in nutwood, Exec-V desks and Leadchairs all reflect the bank’s work ethic.
Bankers need privacy. Like most executives, they require spaces in which they can conduct confidential conversations. At the same time, openness is a key consideration. Concepts like teamwork, modern management and agility have also made their way into boardrooms. Collectively captured by the term New Work, these concepts culminate in communication that is direct, condensed and rapid. This flexibility and openness, coupled with discretion, needed to be translated into the surrounding.
Each of the nearly dozen board members now has a “trilogy” at their disposal – a series of three interconnected rooms: the first with a desk and comfortable chairs, for both working and receiving clients; the second for administrative support; and the third for conferences. Across the hall the closest associates work in agile spaces: large offices for six, eight, ten or fourteen people.
In the run-up to meetings of the supervisory board, the floors bustle with people, as members arrive from all across the world. The conferences take place at a table that can be arranged in a V shape. For security reasons, the board members also dine on site, seated at a seven-meter-long Scale-Media.
And thus here, at the headquarters of one of the world’s oldest banks, furniture from Walter Knoll makes it possible to unite two virtues: modernity and tradition. In today’s world, every organization needs to demonstrate flexibility, vibrancy, transparency and openness – not only to stay on top of their market but also to appeal to employees. At the same time, it is important to preserve and pass on convictions and values. Furniture, which literally gives us something to hold on to throughout our day, transforms immaterial values into material experience.