“The sober, bare appearance was very important to us”
Brigitte Klein, project manager, says, “We deliberately designed the building without playful elements in terms of colours and materials. This way we created a contrast with the designs of the products that are developed here.” These products – housings for devices, beverage packaging, skis and motorcycles – often have glossy (plastic) surfaces and frequently unique colour schemes. “In this context it was important for us to use genuine materials with a purist impression where you can see what it is; for example, glass, concrete and wood. Designers love technology, and they also like to show it. This is the reason why this sober, bare appearance was very important to us,” explains Klein. Architect Wolfgang Frohring of Frohring*Ablinger Architekten, Austria, added, “We consciously restrained ourselves in terms of design and created an environment where creativity can take place under the best conditions.”
So a clean and clear structure was created that can be used flexibly and is expandable. The creative teams mainly work in open-plan offices – the number of private offices was kept as low as possible. “I have been working as a senior designer at KISKA for four years. For me personally, in an open-plan office it is very important that I can fully concentrate on our complex design projects and that the noise level stays low. The good sound insulation provided by the Heradesign acoustic panels allows me to concentrate better on my interesting tasks for international companies,” says Stephan Lintner.
Finding a new family with good acoustics
Communication, and also good acoustics, was a big concern for all people involved in the project from the very beginning, since socialising is a priority at KISKA. Not only because, according to studies, great ideas or exceptional approaches in the field of creativity frequently emerge during small talk, but also because, since there are twelve nationalities in the team at KISKA, many team members create a kind of “family” in the company. There is an open kitchen where they cook together and a lounge to have a chat in or for simply relaxing. And, of course, high-quality acoustic solutions in the open-plan offices and meeting rooms.
The exposed concrete and the expanses of glass used are known as ‘solid’ materials with a smooth surface that reflects sound. This is why for good acoustics they need a material with a structured surface – such as the wood wool acoustic panels from Heradesign in superfine quality in white which moreover constitute a striking contrast with the concrete ceiling.
For the KISKA team members, using Heradesign ceiling panels not only provides the advantage of having good acoustics where they need it. “Also when it came to the lighting the ceiling panels suited us very well,” says architect Frohring. “We positioned the lighting elements at the top of the panels, which creates a very nice, diffused light without unpleasant reflections.” Even the ventilation in the rooms benefits from the concept of the ceiling panels. Project manager Klein continues, “The suspended ceiling panels enable perfect air circulation: fresh air is consistently and extensively spread through the ceiling panels, so a concentrated supply via outlets can be avoided.”