Henning Larsen Architects recently completed Microsoft Domicile, a new 194,000-square-foot building that unites the global software company's Danish facilities under a single roof. Its inclusive environments support cooperation at all levels: between internal staff, clients and partners, and the local community.
Unlike Apple, Facebook, Google, and other high-tech firms, whose imposing headquarters are at odds with their suburban settings, Microsoft Domicile is intentionally designed as part of a larger urban campus, accessible and neighborhood-oriented. The ground floor of the building features facilities that are open to the public - a café and auditorium - as well as places for students from the nearby Technical University of Denmark to study.
This inclusive, cooperative program continues throughout the design of the offices. A pair of cubic buildings, rising six and seven stories, come together around a V-shape, sunlit atrium that acts as a locus for interaction. Windowed offices and meeting rooms overlook the central space, engaged in a visual dialogue across the atrium. Activity-based workspaces of various sizes, from small meeting spaces to midsize conference rooms to large auditoriums, encourage group-based productivity. On every floor, communal kitchens, lounges, and gaming areas act as hubs for casual gatherings, which reinforce the shared mission of the Microsoft teams.
Henning Larsen's holistic approach to Microsoft Domicile extends to the landscaping and sustainability program. The landscape of small green plazas links the building to the surrounding town. Several studies of the microclimatic conditions on the site have informed the planning of the landscape. Facts about wind, sun, and shade qualify the work of the landscape architects in order to provide optimal conditions for both vegetation and humans.
Microsoft Domicile marks an important step in the realization of the Lyngby-Taarbaek municipality as a northern European center of research, learning, and knowledge-intensive businesses. Microsoft Domicile was developed in close collaboration with Microsoft and the investor, Danica Pension. Joining Henning Larsen Architects on the project team was turnkey contractor Hoffmann and consulting engineers Alectia, Cowi, and Grontmij.
Photos: Hufton + Crow