Microsoft Headquarters in Vienna

Architect: INNOCAD Architektur ZT GmbH
Location: Vienna, Austria.
Photographs: Paul Ott , Christian Dusek

The joint venture KOOP and INNOCAD from Graz emerged as winners in the 2010 Architecture competition for Microsoft’s headquarter in Vienna, Austria.

On the basis of Microsoft’s Work Place Advantage Concept (WPA), the project team was able to work in close collaboration with the Microsoft project team during the subsequent project realization phase, the team of architects assumed responsibility for the overall design of the new Microsoft working environment as construction supervisors and project managers. This allowed the total project-schedule to be as quick as 14 months (from tender to finalization).

In order to create the ideal constellation of physical, social and virtual work environments for the company’s employees, Microsoft has conducted several studies on this topic in recent years. The result is the Work Place Advantage Concept, which analyses the employee structure of every branch office on the basis of five categories, from the Resident (fixed workstation, always in the office) to the Nomad (hardly ever in the office), and uses this information to create a custom-tailored interior program.

The complete renovation of the 4,500 m² headquarters in Vienna took this concept to heart and even took it one step further: the“sealed-off” employee floors were broken up and arranged in a transparent manner.

An average of 10 per cent greater employee satisfaction, a 12 per cent increase in productivity and efficiency, improved CO² footprints and many other similar benefits can be expected– and some can even already be measured.

An architectural„life-line“ traverses the entire building in the form of accessible, multi-functional furniture, providing a spatial bracket around all of the floors, and facilitates a variety of functional settings. The greatest possible flexibility is also provided in the closed meeting rooms: Every employee can select their ideal environment, according to their needs and mood.

All high-traffic areas, such as corridors and foyers, were designed to be intentionally dynamic. The striped vinyl floor and a slide that allows quick access from the second to the first floor both symbolize movement.

The accompanying green walls in all of the floors have both an atmospheric and positive effect on the climate of the space. The lighting concept works with as few light sources as possible. Neutral, uniform lighting in the form of linear light elements in the“life-line” creates an atmospheric undertone.

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