Round about 1,700 adidas designers, developers, scientists and marketing strategists move into a new working environment at the corporation’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, a building distinguished by an exterior and an interior which strike new paths – literally: glass walkways cross the inner courtyard, intertwining like the laces of a sports shoe. The Berlin Design office KINZO won the idea competition for a functionally optimized and modular furniture system tendered by adidas and, in addition, translated kadawittfeldarchitektur’s (Aachen) communicative architectural concept into a custom-made furniture and interior design:
“WORKOUT” is the working title of the concept which is destined to open up new realms of creativity and possibilities for team play. To suit this purpose KINZO developed a module system consisting of 46 flexible elements which can be put together in innumerable ways to establish team-oriented rooms, zones and workspaces. The “Teamplayer” – a multi-functional room module with conical sides – serves as the arrangement’s centerpiece. Similar to an open frame, the Teamplayer can be equipped and used in various ways: as a support for desktops or as a clothes rack for lockable containers and magnetic punched-plate walls which offer ample space for hanging up balls, shoes and assorted accessories. Drafts and photographs can easily be pinned to the walls with magnets.
And characteristic for every team effort, no element works entirely on its own – all parts are functional and esthetically designed to work together: furniture that works as a team. Knowing that adidas’ designers, product developers, distribution and marketing strategists work together in teams, we have created a system which can accommodate all the necessary products and working materials, from filing systems to sweatpants or soccer balls,” KINZO designer Chris Middleton (35) explains. “It was important to us to create space which not only enables the adidas staff members to store products neatly and practically within their working environment but also to present them in an attractive way, emphasizing their premium value. The products aren’t simply lying around somewhere. They are given an artistic framework which accents their significance.”
The punch-plate elements are not only functional. They also create an appealing optical effect – seen from a distance they almost appear to be transparent, allowing a “scenic” filtered view of the entire office floor. Experienced close up, however, they seem less transparent and offer the workspace a greater feeling of privacy. Chris Middleton: “The Teamplayer elements resemble brackets that fix and define rooms and spaces. By opting for this very unique spatial concept, adidas was able to do without the intended intermediate walls and organize the office floors in a much more flexible way. By replacing walls with furniture it will even be possible in the future to remodel an entire office without creating a construction site.” The Teamplayers in the central zones can be equipped with additional elements to convert them into storage spaces or “copy cubicles” for copy machines.