Mr. Scholl, together with brandherm + krumrey, you implemented the office environment for the start-up BASF Digital Farming GmbH in Cologne. What is special about the new corporate concept?
xarvio and BASF Digital Farming stand for the optimisation of crop production in agriculture worldwide. xarvio offers digital products based on a globally leading plant model platform and provides independent field-zone-specific agronomic advice. These enable farmers to produce their plants as efficiently and sustainably as possible according to current field conditions. These solutions are available as mobile apps, web applications and full-service packages to farmers in numerous global markets and are developed at our Cologne site, among others.
How is this concept reflected in the office design?
Based on BASF’s concept for activity-based working, brandherm + krumrey translated the main themes of agriculture and digitalisation into design proposals. In the end, we decided in favour of the interior design with abstract elements of a rural environment. Village structures like a “market place” were spatially translated into a variety of spaces for teamwork, meetings or retreat. With corresponding colour and material worlds, this concept was then elaborated into the highly attractive office landscape that we use today. The nested arrangement of the functional areas also reflects the interdisciplinary cooperation of our teams.
What did you particularly appreciate about the collaboration?
First and foremost the creativity of the brandherm + krumrey team. We wanted to achieve a ‘wow effect’ for this office despite a limited budget, and we succeeded in achieving this. Besides the main concept, brandherm + krumrey developed and controlled all the small design details with furnishings, materials, accessories and lighting, which today create the special ambience and the high quality and appeal of the space. We have come to appreciate the team’s flexibility, the fast ways to get things done and the efficient communication — plus the persistence in the difficult coordination with the building owners’ representatives, who were responsible for the standard fit-out. On top of that, it was a very pleasant cooperation on a personal level.
At BASF, you are active in the Global Real Estate Projects division. In view of the future developments in office real estate — especially in the light of the coronavirus pandemic —, what do you expect, for example, from interior design?
Due to the expected increase of remote working, informal and formal meeting places will certainly gain in importance compared to individual office workstations. We are already well prepared for this in our premises in the Kranhaus in Cologne thanks to the high proportion and design of communal areas. If offices are to increasingly support internal corporate branding, a feeling of security and comfort, plus various forms of exchange among employees, smart concepts and design will play a central role in the future.