“It was my hardest and my best project ever, at the same time”, admits our colleague Antje, who – together with our head Jürgen Zahn – was responsible for the concept and design of our café-office-shop. For being honest, we do understand her. Because our situation is the following: We are 240 people on a spot and each of us is more or less involved in design projects every day. Thus we are all experts in that range. So it is quite hard for the designer planning the own facilities. Good that now we are all totally proud of your café-office-shop and so much better that Antje did not follow all our tips but her own ideas.
After only five month of modification, we opened the new café-office-shop. As the unusual sounding name suggests, the 1500-square metre area consists of three parts: The office for some of our roughly 240 colleagues, our shop for designer furniture from our own production or from well-known brands, and the semi-public café. And as the new name made up of three parts indicates, the three areas belong together and blend into each other.
The furniture shop used to be separate from the office. In the past, we could only dream of a real café. Out of necessity, because an office space in the neighbourhood was no longer available and there was no extra room in the existing building because for the colleagues moving back to the headquarters, we started to reconsider our spatial designs and organisational structures. While at the same time also keeping an eye on the needs of our customers.
We design, develop, build and, in our capacity as general contractor, implement holistic furnishing concepts in the retail, catering and hotel sector as well as office fittings for businesses and upmarket private houses and apartments. “We create meaningful spaces” – that’s our philosophy. Making things as easy as possible for the customer is an idea that’s firmly anchored in our minds and hearts. It logically follows that we offer a comprehensive all-round service. This includes the delivery of the furniture, a made-to-measure service as well as tables, chairs, sofas etc. by well-known designer brands. Knoblauch thus offers a balanced overall design concept, from the outer shell to the barstool. Everything from a single source.
And that’s precisely the portfolio and mindset that we communicate with the new space. “Come in, look around”, that’s the invitation. Guests and visitors browse the two floors, look at everything and buy something if they want to. Be it a desk or a dining table, a sofa or an armchair, a cushion or a carpet, a lamp or a shelf. In a relaxed atmosphere, over a coffee and a bite to eat, the design, furniture and interior design projects are discussed. As if you’re sitting at your dining table at home.
Straightforward and unconventional – these are two more key words from our philosophy. And that’s exactly what springs to mind when you enter the new premises. It’s not a proper shop, not just an office, and not a normal café. It’s not a showroom, not a coworking space and definitely not an open-plan office. It is inviting and homely. Yet it’s tidy and looks professional. In brief: The café-office-shop is a meaningful space.
So, what did we do? Two openings for free insights in our carpenters’ workshop, another opening in the top in order to create a roof garden with a more than 200 years old olive tree. A mezzanine level above the metal workshop for additional 440 square meters of space. Energy saving underfloor heating, lighting and climate systems. Ergonomic desks which can be adjusted in height. Soundproofing curtains and a wall panelled with arolla pine wood with a hidden sound insulation.
And of course something for our well-being: A super cool café with a filter holding espresso machine. A nice interior with a lot of furniture from our own production and from brands such as COR, Prestoria, Hay, Vitra, Zeitraum, Miinu, Anglepoise, Menu and many more. And we do have a mirror ball which we can raise whenever we want. The next party is coming soon…!