Interface projects

Hertie School of Governance

Project specifications

Location: Germany
Installation m²: 3,500 m²

Products used

  • Straightforward - Slate

The tenant of the property, the Hertie School of Governance (HsoG), is one of the leading international business schools and prepares young people for leadership positions in public office. The Hertie School of Governance takes an interdisciplinary, international and practicallyorientated academic approach to all areas of activity. Therefore HsoG maintains contact with partner universities, institutes and policy-makers all over the world.

As well as the tenant, the building owner, Zürich Versicherung AG, also has an international profile. The company, founded in 1872, has its head office in Zurich, Switzerland, and is a global financial services provider with its roots in the insurance business. The company employs around 60,000 people, providing services in more than 170 countries.

Quartier 110 was renovated in 2004 in line with its historic status by the owners Zurich Financial Services Group and Zurich Group Germany. Because the building, which had been partially destroyed in the War and rebuilt in 1952, had become one of the top addresses in the centre of Berlin. In 2007, parts of the old building were completely gutted on behalf of the tenant, HsoG, and equipped to the latest standards to adapt it to the needs of today’s working and living environment. The gross floor space was around 5,000 m².

Interface and its carpet tile system were already known through various international projects. In addition, the use of carpet tiles was ideal for the project because the building had a cavity floor. As well as its design, the product’s functionality, flexibility and cost effectiveness were also crucial in the decision to use it. They also relied on this “tried and trusted” solution for the renovation project in Berlin.

Cost effectiveness and exceptional design were required by HsoG in Berlin. Installing a cavity floor with its integrated cable routing created the technical prerequisites for the new office building. However only in combination with the “loosely fixed” carpet tiles was it possible to make optimal use of the flexibility of the floor space. The excellent quality of being able to remove the Interface carpet tiles, which are also stable when laid, provides quick and easy access to technical installations in the cavity floor without having to make complicated changes to the floor covering. The ability to easily remove the individual carpet tiles means that only the really worn elements need to be taken up or replaced if they need to be cleaned or renewed – this saves up to 80% of the replacement costs and reduces waste.

“The floor covering also plays an important role in the interior design.”

The floor covering also plays an important role in the interior design. The architects considered it important that special attention was paid to the floor. Therefore they chose the “Straightforward” product and a total of 3,500 m² of this was laid. This micro loop product is part of the FlatWorks range and was developed by the IF designers according to the random design philosophy. Because of the random design of the tiles, the total surface is always homogenous and cohesive. As a result, the tiles can be laid without a discernible system. When in use, it is very easy to replace individual elements without destroying the overall look. And the product also offers another advantage with regard to environmental friendliness.

Partly recycled yarn and 100% renewable electricity are used in the manufacture of Straightforward. In contrast to broadloom, where there is wastage of up to 13%, Straightforward is unique in the market because it reduces unnecessary waste to less than 1%.

Straightforward was used in the building’s design mainly in the larger areas and the long corridors. These were eminently suitable for accentuation. The product was selected in a grey shade and provides a magnificent contrast to the red furniture and wall colouring. The resulting solution combines innovative design, ambitious architecture, flexibility and cost effectiveness.

Even though it is two years since they were laid, HsoG’s floor surfaces look immaculate, with no wear in heavy traffic areas or problems with staining. Important aspects in a building which acts as a place of work and learning on a daily basis. Everyone involved – users, tenant, building owner and the architects – is very happy with the choice of Straightforward. It gives the students superb surroundings in which to learn and helps them perform to their best. The concept of modularity and replaceability has also been “lived out”, because additional square metreage was acquired in reserve.

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