The headquarters of RheinLand Versicherungen is a striking building in the harbour district of Neuss. The triangular building designed by Christoph Ingenhoven and built in 1998 featured traditional two-person and three-person offices along with long, dark corridors. Back in 2012, we began supporting the client in the conversion of the 11,000 m² office space. Our team was involved in opening up the space’s enormous daylight and space potential over several stages.
In 2012, new rooms were developed based on our plans in which four to eight people could work together as a team in optimal conditions. Extensive noise-insulation measures create a pleasant acoustic atmosphere. At the same time, fewer interior walls makes the offices feel far more spacious while also offering space for up to 80 more employees in the building.
In just one week – from one Saturday to the next – we had time to create a totally new office environment. At times, up to 120 workers were on site at the same time in order to clear all of the furniture from the building, remove 140 plasterboard walls, install 60 new wall partition systems, adapting 60 wall units to make them shallower, and installing 950 sound-absorbing acoustic elements on the ceilings and walls.
Furthermore, 540 desks, 320 swivel chairs and 60 acoustic partition walls were delivered and assembled and around 200 built-in workspaces were reconstructed. The logistics worked perfectly, and the employees were able to resume their work again on Monday.
After the open office structure developed in 2012 had proven its worth in day-to-day work, we went a step further in 2018: We developed an “open space” office landscape with around 1,000 m² of floor space, geared towards even more flexible and communicative working methods.
In the open space areas tailored to the needs of RheinLand Versicherung, the department and team leaders also work in and experience the new sense of openness and transparency. It is something that would have seemed unthinkable in the past – some managers work right in the middle of their teams without being spatially separated at all. This frees up additional space for meetings, temporary workstations or quiet spaces. To date, there are only a few such spaces – in future, there will be more than 30.
The employees were integrated into the office space restructuring in an exemplary manner during several meetings. As a result, acceptance was high even before the project was implemented. The Works Council also fully backed the conversion measures, as they offer high added value for employees such as high-quality LED standing lamps, height-adjustable tables, acoustic elements and new air-conditioning equipment.