House of Communication
HENN’s design of the House of Communication for the Serviceplan Group in Munich, Germany, creates a distinctive spatial identity for the world’s largest owner-managed agency group for innovative communication, rooted in the company’s ideals of openness and collaboration. Connecting three separate buildings via bridges, the design concept brings 40 different agencies and 1,700 employees together under one roof on the iCampus, a new innovation district near Munich’s Ostbahnhof, developed by R&S Immobilienmanagement. HENN devised the headquarters as a small city, a concept known as office urbanism. Like a city, the House of Communication includes spaces to meet, eat, and relax alongside meeting rooms and individual work areas.
HENN Interior introduced a central axis to connect all three atrium buildings, designed by RKW Architektur+ and KAAN Architecten. The axis and main circulation route, named the Innovation Track, runs throughout the first floor of the entire complex. Visitors enter the Track via a striking six-meter wide staircase at the entrance. The Track’s connective purpose is highlighted by a 130-meter-long light installation, inspired by classic neon signage and designed by Büro Uebele. It also serves as an event and exhibition space: pieces from the private art collection of the company owners are on display, including work by Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, and Tony Cragg. The building is open to the public and features art tours and space for events.
On the office floors, different modes of work – physical and virtual, loud and quiet – can take place in parallel thanks to an acoustic concept that includes sound-absorbing walls, ceiling panels, and heavy felt curtains, as well as the spatial organization of the offices and meeting rooms. The livelier zones are organized around the interior atrium and include spacious tea kitchens and rooms for collaborative work. Around the perimeter, HENN Interior placed quieter areas for focussed work, including telephone boxes and meeting rooms that serve the individual agencies.
The design follows a distinct visual identity developed for Serviceplan based on the idea of a uniform. Like a well-tailored suit that can be styled with statement pieces and colorful accents, the Serviceplan uniform has clear lines and a monochrome color palette of black, white, and gray, creating a coherent whole across all areas and agencies. Coarse industrial materials like steel grating, raw steel, and black-stained wood are used throughout. Serviceplan’s ethos of communication and integration is expressed through unique, oversized furniture pieces – there is room for 100 people on a 30-meter-long sofa upholstered in bold, coral Raf Simons fabric, and space for 80 employees at a single wooden table in the canteen. The monochrome backdrop and simple furniture of the Serviceplan uniform allow colorful and oversized statement pieces to pop.
HENN Interiors worked with local manufacturers to develop exclusive elements, including textiles and bespoke lighting pieces. A vintage design piece – a robust and minimalistic chair that was used by Germany’s police departments in the 1950s – was reissued and developed into a full line of furniture including benches, stools, and tables. A custom-built, flexible shelving system also serves as a multifunctional room divider. Textile wall coverings with square grids in different colors and sizes pay homage to the geometric architecture of the facade. A special font was developed exclusively for the project by Büro Uebele and is used on all signage in the building – for orientation on walls and columns, but also as a typographic element on the Innovation Track, adding visual depth and character.
Project start: 2018
Scope of work: Interior architecture (Feasibility to Construction supervision), tenant fit-out
Client: Service plan Group SE & Co. KG
Address: iCampus, Friedenstraße 24, 81671 Munich, Germany
Gross floor area: 40,000 m²
Workstations: 1,100 total, used by 1,700 Serviceplan staff via desk-sharing
Desk-sharing ratio: 0.5
Program: Office and co-working spaces, Staff restaurant, Conference area, Coffee bars, Fitness, Roof terraces
Awards: AZ Awards 2023 for “Best Experiential Graphic Design”
Team: Joachim Grund (partner in charge), Alexandra Berger, Tanja Dietsch, Andreas Fuchs, Attila Horvath, Katrin Jacobs, Deborah Klajmic, Yvonne Koll, Laura Kummer, Anja Liesenfeld, Christiane Reichenbach, Kathrin Schiffelholz, Gudrun Spitzer, Kathrin Stamm, Peter Weber, Handan Yalki Toyhan, Shiyu Ying
Architecture: RKW Architektur+, Dusseldorf, Germany (architecture), KAAN Architecten, Rotterdam, Netherlands (façade), R&S Immobilienmanagement GmbH, Munich, Germany (client, architecture)
Consultants tenant fit-out: Apropos Licht, Munich, Germany (special luminaires), Combine Consulting GmbH, Munich, Germany (change management), Büro Uebele, Stuttgart, Germany (signage, Serviceplan font, light installation design), Bartenbach, Munich, Germany (realization light installation), Drees & Sommer, Stuttgart, Germany (building services, construction management), GKR Hydrokulturen, Munich, Germany (plants), IGW Ingenieurgruppe Walter, Stuttgart, Germany (kitchen planning), Lumen³, Munich, Germany (lighting design), OfficeMEDIA visuelle Medientechnik, Munich, Germany (media engineering)
Manufacturers and suppliers: Blå Station, Åhus, Sweden (sofa atrium, length 30 meters), Hülsta, Stadtlohn, Germany (wooden table canteen, gastronomy), Kvadrat, Ebeltoft, Denmark / fabric by Raf Simons (sofa atrium), MSM MalscherSitzMöbel GmbH, Malsch, Germany (furniture series developed for Serviceplan), Rohi Stoffe GmbH, Geretsried, Germany (special textiles), Trend Interior, Greding, Germany (shelving system)
Construction companies, tenant fit-out: BES Brunold Holz und Design Manufaktur GmbH, Schwandorf, Germany (carpentry work), Designfunktion, Munich, Germany (loose furniture), Elektro Kreutzpointner, Munich, Germany (electrical engineering), Marcus Hansen, Munich, Germany (loose furniture), Projektleuchten GmbH, Dortmund, Germany (light installation), SchreinerCoburg GmbH, Coburg, Germany (signage), Trend Interior, Greding, Germany (shelving system)
© Mark Seelen | Seelen⁺