A dream location in central Hamburg, an amazing view – and a pleasant new interior designed by Kinnarps. It’s no wonder that DNV staff have returned to the office.
When the pandemic was over, DNV contacted its framework agreement partner Kinnarps. There was a feeling that the German head office in Hamburg was no longer fit for purpose – it was proving difficult to get colleagues back into the office. Both the furniture and the layout felt outdated, with grey colours and cell offices with no place for spontaneous meetings.
The office is in a prime location in HafenCity Hamburg. The new district has been under development in the old port since the early 2010s, a dynamic waterside area where 40,000 people now work – 800 of whom work at DNV.
The office building at Brooktorkai 18, designed by the architectural office gmp, was completed in 2010. Proximity to the port is an important factor, as DNV is a well-known global operator in the shipping industry. From here you also have a view of the historic Speicherstadt area and “Elphi”, the concert hall that’s become the city’s new landmark. While the magnificent view is good for the well-being of the employees, it’s not enough to create a perfect office. The view on the inside needs to work too.
Kinnarps was tasked by DNV to design a more sustainable, pleasant and flexible working environment. The team went to work by studying the original drawings, conducting a noise measurement and engaging employees in the process. The new interior design was presented and evaluated in workshops, with Kinnarps’ interior designers on site. One group also had the opportunity to test a range of different furniture.
The project was completed in 2023 – and both employees and managers have been very satisfied with the outcome. “Everything went so smoothly,” says buyer Esther Zopf about the collaboration with Kinnarps. “Together we’ve achieved a fantastic result in terms of both functionality and aesthetics.”
“Together we’ve achieved a fantastic result in terms of both functionality and aesthetics.”
There’s now a completely different atmosphere of harmony. Employees have returned to an office optimally adapted for hybrid working. What used to be small kitchen spaces have been transformed into extended lounges on each floor. This is where the partially upholstered Deli chairs and Embrace bar stools can be found. Hybrid meetings can be held with strategically placed screens in other meeting and conference rooms. On the ground floor, there’s a lounge for recreation, socialising and meetings. The upholstered Fendo chairs, the Monolite sofa, the Mr T stools and the Tinnef tables invite a variety of conversations.
A good acoustic environment has been ensured by using acoustic panels, carefully selected materials and interior design. The Series P height adjustable desks are airily arranged in different groups and can be reserved in advance using a booking tool. A new era has also begun in document management. In the past, filing cabinets and movable pedestals were common sights. Now everyone has a compartment in one of Kinnarps’ open storage units from the Space range. If you need to move something, you can use a Kinnarps-designed storage bag or drawer.
The palette of warm green and blue hues blended with white has been carefully thought out. Esther Zopf, who was involved in the development, explains: “Natural colours have a positive impact on well-being and concentration. They also symbolise the sky, the ground and the water in our DNV logo. Kinnarps’ interior designers have translated this into furniture and materials in a very attractive way.”
“The palette of warm green and blue hues blended with white has been carefully thought out.”
Sustainability was also central to the assignment. Not least because DNV offers sustainable solutions to its customers and has strict sustainability goals for its own operations. Accordingly, the choice of furniture, rugs and lighting was based on clearly defined criteria. “Having a framework agreement with Kinnarps made things easier for us,” reports Esther Zopf. “We knew that Kinnarps is at the forefront of sustainability. This was a good fit with our specifications.”