A football head office in Berlin has demonstrated the visual power of connecting interior design to a company brand.
Onefootball, a technology company that operates a world leading application for its supporters has used design to bring the elements of the game indoors. The floors reflect the green soccer field, and the building features goal posts and locker-inspired storage furniture.
Munich-based architecture firm TKEZ wanted to “create a simulating and at the same time professional working environment” for Onefootball’s 90 employees. The firm has explored the visual opportunity of reflecting Onefootball’s brand beyond applying the company logo across walls. In the case of Onefootball’s office, it’s easy for employees to feel like they're footballers who hold a key role in the game.
The open-plan workplace is a mix of private, collaborative and multi-functional areas. Transparent floor to ceiling glazed “thinking spaces,” offices and meeting rooms are combined with collaborative areas.
TKEZ transformed an old factory floor into a light, white airy space complemented by green accents.
Upon entering, artificial turf is affixed on the wall behind the reception desk opposite green locker-inspired cabinets which feature signed soccer jerseys.
The office's football references include a visually striking “green runway,” which has been compared to a three-lane jogging track, which weaves through the 15,000 square foot office. The track, along with other artificial grass floor areas in meeting rooms, uses AstroTurf - made of resistance polyethylene and fibrillated yarn. The look is very popular for indoor recreational areas and commercial gym flooring.
There is also an “arena” area which features stadium seating clad in artificial grass. According to TKEZ, this space features a coloured backlit roof, surround sound system and a large four-metre by four-metre screen, making it ideal for watching key games or projecting concepts the organisation is working on.
While most of the office features a rather clean, white, green, grey palette, the dining area takes on a little more colour with brick walls and one wall clad with football team scarves. In front of this stands foosball tables.
TKEZ also notes the office's “soft areas” (informal/casual meeting areas) which are formed by textile cabins which also acoustically support the space. The walls in the soft areas feature magnetic and rewritable surfaces that see the fruits of brainstorming sessions sketched right on the walls.
The space is illuminated by large black suspended lighting pendants while the concrete floor is marked out with match tactics.
For a final touch, staff can retreat to the goals at each end of the runway for a lunchtime penalty shootout.
While many brands will inject subtle “brand” touches, Onefootball now showcases a design that reflects a fully themed strategy whereby every room, floor and wall responds to the brand.
Sports brands in particular are very good at utilising design to communicate their brand.
PDM International, which was awarded an Interior Design 2013 Award for the design of the Adidas headquarters in Shanghai, worked to tie the collaborative workplace with the brand's sporty spirit. The office features athletic trainers on walls to form the backdrop of meeting spaces, while a series of glass panels and window shades feature images of sporting glory and sponsored stars.
A central staircase features Adidas’ three stripes in the form of striking vertical lighting strips. These stripes appear throughout the space on furniture and walls.
“Adidas is quite street,” PDM International design director Simon Park told Interior Design magazine at the time. “The latest shoes are so lightweight, apparently seamless.”
“They’re really out there, and we tried to capture that.”
Italian architect, Fabio Novembre has also put an athletic design spin on AC Milan's new home, Casa Milan.
The football team had been in the same building for 50 years until the recent move to a 10,000 square metre, seven level headquarters. The interior features a bold red and black palette - reflective of the team's colours - and subtle spherical and geometrical design elements, reflecting the shape of a soccer ball.
The building houses offices for senior management, a restaurant, merchandise shop and museum.
Images depicting AC Milan's rich history line the office hallways.