KINZO designs the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe’s newsroom with alpine clarity and freshness
++ Mountains, lakes, sky and meadows: cult film with Julie Andrews as design inspiration ++ Design development as part of the change management process of the Sparkasse team ++ What Instagram doesn‘t show: intelligent solutions for a comfortable atmosphere and acoustics ++
The communication experts of the German Sparkassen- und Giroverbands and the Sparkassen-Finanzportal are now working as a team - from an extraordinary newsroom in Berlin-Mitte. Conceived by the architecture firm KINZO, it combines Berlin “cool”with the clarity and freshness of the Alps. Behind the design, is a sophisticated architectural organization that enables completely new ways of working.
Julie Andrews singing on a sunny alpine meadow with arms happily spread wide - and Berlin-Mitte cool? That sounds like a cultural collision. In fact, the opening sequence of the cult film „The Sound of Music“ sparked the creative impulse for one of the most unusual office interiors in Germany: the newsroom of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association and the Sparkassen finance portal. For the first time, 80 employees work in a 2,200 m2 office landscape as an integrated team for all communication operations of the savings banks. The brightness, color and material aesthetics of the newsroom exude joie de vivre, clarity and freshness, and the sophisticated organization enables new, agile forms of work.
“The world of banks is changing; our newsroom responds to this change with agility, optimism and freshness, ” explains Helmut Schleweis, President of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association. Stefan Roesler, member of the management of the DSV Group (Deutscher Sparkassen-Verlag) and chairman of the management of the Sparkassen-Finanzportal, adds: “For the integration of the communication teams, we wanted an inspiring work environment that offers more than a cool, Instagramable visual statement. KINZO understood how to translate the functional requirements, but also the emotions of our employees into a convincing office design. „
The Berlin architecture firm KINZO has already conceived, designed and implemented working environments for the company headquarters of Adidas, Zalando and, most recently, a Korean cosmetics group in Seoul. The architects were involved at an early stage in the change management process of the two communication departments of the savings banks, which are now to work together for the first time as an integrated, agile team. In workshops and employee surveys, functional requirements as well as the individual personality of the teams were examined.
On this basis, KINZO developed an abstract, reduced design language with a characteristic color concept: The colors of meadows, forests and wheat fields, mountains and lakes are intended to create an informal, fresh feeling of „arriving and breathing deeply“. Not an easy task given the low ceiling height of the building that used to house a gym. The suspended, transverse aluminum slats not only make the rooms appear larger and higher, but also have a cooling function. The furniture and fittings especially developed for the newsroom, but also the desk series designed by KINZO (Unit by Planmöbel by KINZO) contain sound-absorbing elements that create pleasant, quiet and secure room acoustics instead of the usual but uninteresting grid ceilings. The „Morning Briefing“ room, whose multifunctional seating furniture facilitates meetings of the entire team, but also workshops and small, informal meetings, was custom-built as well.
“Taking the alpine lake landscape as inspiration for an office space in Berlin sounds like a provocation. The ‚Newsroom‘ works creatively and this is evident from the Sparkasse‘s willingness to engage in an abstract scenario. ”
Comments Karim El-Ishmawi, one of the three founders of KINZO.
The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe‘s newsroom has already received the FAZ‘s Integrated Communication Award.
KINZO contributed profound banking and newsrom know-how to the Sparkasse newsroom project: In 2015, KINZO developed an “Activity Based Working” concept for the 5,000 employees in the new headquarters of the Austrian Sparkasse “Erste Bank” in Vienna. As well, for Axel Springer Verlag, KINZO designed a futuristic, yet functionally well-thought-out newsroom concept in 2008, which was developed in close cooperation with the editors.