With entrepreneurial spirit, strategic thinking and, above all, the trust of its clients, zeb has established itself as one of the leading strategy and management consultancies for the European financial services industry. The company currently employs over 1,000 people and operates at 17 locations in 13 countries. The company’s headquarters is a striking, circular 12-floor building in Münster, built in 2001.
Converting an existing building is a challenge in itself. An oval building footprint on top of that brings the challenge to a whole new level. We took on this task as a general contractor for interiors for the conversion of company headquarters in Münster, Germany.
We used the sixth floor as a pilot floor. First, the entire floor was gutted – from the flooring and non-load-bearing plasterboard walls to fixtures and lighting elements. It immediately became clear exactly how much value having such a light and airy space offered, and that opening up the closed interior after twenty years was precisely the right step.
Now the floor is divided up into individual working areas using glass partitions. The desired amount of flexibility is met through a high proportion of mobile furniture and a variety of standard and customised products. The space also meets the interaction and communication needs of employees, as well as their need for time out.
Acoustics also mattered greatly. Due to the sprinkler system in the ceiling and the room height of 280 cm (only 260 cm in the central area), it was not possible to mount any acoustic elements on the ceiling. Instead, we used more luxurious carpets and acoustic elements on the structural walls and in the partition system to optimise the reverberation period throughout the floor.
The oval footprint of the building presented a particularly difficult challenge. How do we design this open space without making it look like one large room? By cleverly positioning the two conference boxes, we were able to divide the space up without making it appear separated and thereby retain the open feeling of the floor that is conducive to exchanging ideas and ensuring employee interaction.