Long live the office! When designed well – as go-to office manufacturer Palmberg proves – workplaces can enhance the well-being of their users, giving them the flexibility to be themselves.

Palmberg’s stand at this year’s edition of Orgatec – designed by Frankfurt-based agency Voss+Fischer – featured the familiar paper coffee cup as leitmotif for its bold and expressive concept

I work, therefore I am: Palmberg | News

Palmberg’s stand at this year’s edition of Orgatec – designed by Frankfurt-based agency Voss+Fischer – featured the familiar paper coffee cup as leitmotif for its bold and expressive concept

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When it comes to places in the office where we speak most plainly, there’s none more iconic than at the coffee machine. Which is perhaps why German office-furniture manufacturer Palmberg’s stand at this year’s edition of Orgatec featured the humble paper coffee cup as leitmotif for its bold and expressive concept.

75,000 of them, in fact – the creative handiwork of Frankfurt-based agency Voss+Fischer – forming a visually and haptically textural architectural setting for the office brand’s fair presentation. As a metaphor, it’s an apt one. At the coffee machine, we become our real selves. Less anonymous worker and more of an individual. And with the latest gossip as the usual currency of exchange between us and our colleagues.

A 3D virtual tour through a series of spaces shaped by Palmberg products came courtesy of VR4 Content

I work, therefore I am: Palmberg | News

A 3D virtual tour through a series of spaces shaped by Palmberg products came courtesy of VR4 Content

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The death of the office has long been heralded over the past few decades, but has proved, ultimately, to be untrue. Instead of digital technology ushering in the dissolution of shared workspaces in favour of a network of atomised, remote workers, it has, in fact, created a greater need for us, as humans, to counterbalance our virtual lives with real, physical proximity. We now know that the best ideas, the best collaborations come from the physical and often emotional experience of face-to-face, cheek-by-jowl working. Maybe it’s pheromones. (Or the potential for better gossiping.)

The literally named Disc provides mobile, not to mention sculptural, space division, which provides both visual privacy and sound-absorbing functionality

I work, therefore I am: Palmberg | News

The literally named Disc provides mobile, not to mention sculptural, space division, which provides both visual privacy and sound-absorbing functionality

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Which is why Palmberg has developed a product collection that considers the office as a total, joined-up environment, where individual, well-designed spaces fitted out with well-designed products serve to support the well-being of users as real people. “Space for new times” runs the brand's latest slogan, the idea being that flexible, inviting and homely spaces produce a quality experience for workers – somewhere they enjoy spending time – which, in turn, translates into a higher quality of output.

Such a considered, through-the-line approach was articulated effectively at Orgatec, where architects, planners and other specifiers visiting the Palmberg stand were presented with a series of workplace stage-sets, as it were – a range of spaces for different kinds of activity, each displaying clearly legible, ultra-functional, yet super-friendly modular product systems.

Palmberg presented a series of workplace stage-sets at this year's Orgatec – a range of spaces for different kinds of activity, each featuring ultra-functional, yet super-friendly modular product systems

I work, therefore I am: Palmberg | News

Palmberg presented a series of workplace stage-sets at this year's Orgatec – a range of spaces for different kinds of activity, each featuring ultra-functional, yet super-friendly modular product systems

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As a whole, the concept neatly told the complete story of our daily working lives – from the spaces where we work independently, where concentration is required, to dynamic spaces designed for collaboration; from storage areas for personal items to kitchens where we prepare food, make a coffee and share a joke. Not to mention informal seating or break-out areas where we can take five and just relax – and often be at our most creative.

“A company decides its culture and then responds materially,” explains Palmberg marketing chief Christoffer Süss. And when it decides to specify Palmberg, it can rest assured that that response will be a comprehensive one. A consistent and consistently thoughtful design language is expressed not only through form, but also materials and surfaces. Value is added to products via sound-absorbing textiles and supremely smooth, “nano” surfaces to ensure the office is not just optimised and fit for purpose in terms of utility, but that it also delivers the goods acoustically and tactually. Making it a place of love and not just labour.

“Space for new times”, conveys the brand's latest slogan, the idea being that flexible, inviting and homely spaces produce a quality experience for workers

I work, therefore I am: Palmberg | News

“Space for new times”, conveys the brand's latest slogan, the idea being that flexible, inviting and homely spaces produce a quality experience for workers

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And speaking of delivering the goods, Palmberg, with its mission to provide unrivalled customer service, has its own fleet of trucks, meaning expertly handled logistics and installation. All part of the company’s mission to retain as much control of the supply chain as possible. With its new 30,000-square-metre production facility and 500-strong team, the company works as hard as its end-users do.

Coffee machines optional.


© all images: Andreas Keller for VOSS+FISCHER
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