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HQ Microsoft Vienna
Monday 27 Aug 2012
ARGE KOOP / INNOCAD Architektur ZT GmbH emerged as winners of the 2010 Architecture competition for their Microsoft Headquarters, Vienna joint venture.
On the basis of Microsoft's Work Place Advantage Concept (WPA), the architects were able to work in close collaboration with Microsoft during the subsequent project realization phase, assuming responsibility, as construction supervisors and project managers, for the overall design of the new Microsoft working environment.
This allowed the total project-schedule to be as quick as 14 months (from tender to finalization). In recent years, Microsoft has conducted several studies in order to create the ideal constellation of physical, social and virtual work environments for the company's employees.
The WPA analyses the employee structure of every branch office on the basis of five categories, from Resident (fixed workstation, always in the office) to Nomad (hardly ever in the office), and uses this information to create a custom-tailored interior program.
The complete renovation of the 4,500m² headquarters in Vienna took this concept to heart and even took it one step further: the ‘sealed-off' employee floors were broken up and arranged in a transparent manner. An average of 10% greater employee satisfaction, a 12% increase in productivity and efficiency, improved CO² footprints and many other similar benefits can be expected, some have already been measured.
An architectural ‘life-line' traverses the entire building in the form of accessible, multi-functional furniture that provides a spatial bracket around all of the floors, and facilitates a variety of functional settings. The greatest possible flexibility is also provided in the closed meeting rooms: every employee can select their ideal environment, according to their needs and mood.
All high-traffic areas, such as corridors and foyers, were designed to be intentionally dynamic. The striped vinyl floor and a slide that allows quick access from the second to the first floor both symbolize movement. The accompanying green walls on all of the floors have both an atmospheric and positive effect on the climate of the space.
The lighting concept works with as few light sources as possible. Neutral, uniform lighting in the form of linear light elements in the ‘life-line' creates an atmospheric undertone.