Birkenstock Headquarters Cologne

Impressive working world

How can open meeting and office space for modern work be incorporated into a historic port warehouse? At the headquarters of the Birkenstock Group in Cologne, brandherm + krumrey were faced with this exciting task. Areas for office work, meetings and coworking as well as a lounge, café and showroom were to be housed in a former customs house and warehouse dating from 1898. The elongated building in Cologne’s Rheinauhafen was originally used to store oils, fats and petroleum. Today, the imposing structure is part of the ensemble of restored monuments and modern architecture such as the well-known crane houses that characterize the old harbor area in the cathedral city. In the context of the historic warehouse halls, brandherm + krumrey developed a tailor-made interior design for the diverse demands of Birkenstock. The headquarters of the international fashion brand in Rheinauhafen offers over 2,000 square meters of open office space for creative work. Around 150 fixed workstations and flexible workstations are distributed across the first floor and the four floors above. Instead of open-plan offices, individual areas were created for different offerings. Particularly impressive are the ground-level halls 11 and 12, for which brandherm + krumrey designed a modern working environment with showroom. A historic cross vault and round columns made of reinforced concrete characterize the atmospheric ambience of Hall 11. Glazed and closed boxes accommodate functions for individual and team work or meetings here, so that the spacious impression of the room is maintained. Loosely set presentation furniture also serves as storage space for office use and plant shelves. Exhibition areas for the world-famous shoes were also created in the neighboring Hall 12 and combined with functions for workplaces. New Work tables designed especially for the project complete the ensemble of high-quality furniture and selected materials. At the heart of the interior design are two circular, open meeting zones with seating groups and upholstered furniture that invite relaxed exchange in a special atmosphere.

Birkenstock Group



Planning Team
Susanne Brandherm, Andreas Jacob, Kim Falger, Livia Chan, Nadja Lauerer

Joachim Grothus