Vitra has unveiled its new concept for the future of the office with a prototype on its campus - complete with a new suite of office products that are now available across the globe. Named the Club Office - the prototype is installed over 3,200 sq ft on the Vitra Campus, and will house its own research and design team.
Responding to this last year's massive shifts in the workplace, the company has been compiling research and looking at their own 70+ year history at the forefront of office design and how they can prepare for the future of office design with innovative products. Allocating three separate zones the Club Office design is intentional, responsive, flexible, and effective for both focus and collaboration, operating in a newfound intersection that post-pandemic life will bring. Based on the idea that when you come into the office, it will need to be intentional, and prioritize new modes of working that were not the focus pre-pandemic.
A new collection of office furniture has also been introduced. As offices begin to remove private offices and individual desks, opting for a flexible model where concentrated work can be completed at home - the office has now become a space for collaboration and team meetings, therefore it is important for the furniture to change with the needs of the company.
"Those who choose to go to the office today and in the future do so consciously - to meet colleagues and experience a sense of belonging and appreciation. The common mission and organisational purpose should be perceptible," commented Nora Fehlbaum, CEO of Vitra. "Consequently, it must be more than just a place of work. Today, an office needs to provide added value. If an office has no character and colleagues there hide from one another, it's better to spare the commute and stay at home."
The Club Office is characterized by an open and inviting atmosphere. At the same time, its furnishings are functionally conceived so that every spot can be used as a productive workspace. "For our product development activities, we need spaces that promote direct interaction and the spontaneous exchange of knowledge and insights," explained Christian Grosen, Chief Design Officer at Vitra.
The Club's 'members' - consisting of employees from all parts of Vitra and its close external partners - encounter a whole range of different spatial scenarios, divided into a public and a semi-public area. The Club Office in Birsfelden offers numerous different work settings within a small footprint of less than 300 square meters.
The public section provides members with a welcoming space for spontaneous meetings, a forum for discussion, informal collaboration, debate and mutual learning. Comfortable, inviting furniture such as the sofa systems Soft Work and Alcove Plus are deployed here. The new additions to the Alcove product family have been adapted to the post-Covid needs of office environments.
The second, semi-public area is dedicated to more formal collaboration. Members come together on a planned basis in spaces that can be reserved for project work, for example - often over a period of days and weeks. Yet agility is still required, and thanks to flexible furnishings like Dancing Wall, Stool Tool and Tip Ton, collaborative spaces can be quickly and easily adapted and rearranged - even multiple times a day if needed. This environment is designed for workshops and productive teamwork, allowing Club members to construct their own surroundings to solve the problem of the day, week or month.
A third, private zone of the Club Office consists of workstations that are sheltered from intrusion. This zone also extends into the home office, which has proven particularly suitable for concentrated individual tasks. Remote working and a well-equipped home office are, therefore, an integral element of the Club Office.
Photos: Courtesy of Vitra