Working together with Vitra to design the open office landscape of their new offices, Ottobock Healthcare GmbH moves into the former Bötzow brewery in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.
With locations in over 57 countries and over 7000 employees, Ottobock Healthcare GmbH is the international market leader in technical orthopaedics and prosthetics. The family-run business celebrates its 100 year anniversary this year which has been marked by a systematic expansion of its presence in the German capital.
Founded in Kreuzberg in 1919 by orthopaedic mechanic Otto Bock, the company has now relocated about 200 employees from its Development, Product Management, Project Management and Strategic Purchasing departments, as well as the Management Board, from Thüringen to the former Bötzow brewery in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.
Hans Georg Näder, chairman of the board representing the owners and third generation of the founding family, acquired the listed Bötzow complex in 2012 and since then has developed it with British architect Sir David Chipperfield based on a master plan.
Having already successfully completed concepts with Swiss furniture company Vitra in Austin, Texas and at the Ottobock head office in Duderstadt, the partnership continued when planning and implementing the project in Berlin.
The product developers now work together on one floor, grouped in clusters in an open-plan workshop that facilitates interaction. The Product Managers are housed on the floor above, close to the development process. The open office landscape, which was planned and set up by Vitra experts, promotes work and communication channels in a functional manner, while the raw workshop character of the furnishings reflects the faithful restoration of the historic interior – without neglecting a certain degree of comfort and modernity.
The open work environment, which features the height-adjustable Hack table system developed in 2015 by Konstantin Grcic along with Vitra ID Trim swivel chairs by Antonio Citterio, can be used flexibly to meet the needs of the employees.
“Now we are permanently moving into premises at Bötzow,” states Näder. “And we are working together there in a modern, collaborative way. There are no longer assigned workplaces. This generates spillover among the departments, closely linked with our tech hubs in Duderstadt and Vienna.”
Photographer: Eduardo Perez