By: Enzo Marfella
EMD Serono is a US faction of Merck, an international biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Darmstaft, Germany. EMD Serono prides themselves on being a pioneering company that advances technologies for life, with a specific focus on finding the cure for cancer, making strides in fertility treatments and helping those affected by multiple sclerosis. It was important to inspire the occupants and connect them to the amazing and forward-thinking research being conducted by EMD Serono throughout the rest of the world.
To do this, the design approach for this location was first fueled by EMD Serono’s request to research what the “Office of the Future” experience should be. INTEC Group studied employee engagement, wellness, and the multi-generational workforce concluding that nature in the workplace through biophilic design can decrease the main causes for deficient productivity; absenteeism, loss of focus, negative mood and poor health while promoting creative cognitive thinking. By providing adaptable spaces through kinetic architecture, this office creates a community that accommodates the similarities and differences of multiple generations within the work force through “choice” and flexibility. Through the seamless integration of technology into the workplace, the space optimizes collaboration, efficiency and productivity. With sustainability and employee wellness as two of EMD Serono’s key values, this project was also designed to be submitted for LEED Platinum Certification for Commercial Interiors.
Through this comprehensive study and inspiration drawn from EMD Serono’s emphasis on human connection, we arrived at the architectural design concept of “Permeation”. Connecting to EMD Serono as a biopharmaceutical company, life permeates through the layers of cellular structures. This spatial and sculptural imagery of cellular layers lives throughout the EMD Serono space as threads of walls, light and circulation, imprinting the EMD Serono brand while activating elements of wellness and biophilic design. Upon entry the organic sculptural reception desk introduces the design concept of permeation. Through the efficient choice of micro glass offices, a generous amount of square footage is used for “we” space. This “we” space runs the expanse of the window line providing a lifeline of daylight for people to connect outside of their private work zones, encouraging social learning and personal connections. Drawing upon ideas of prospect and refuge in biophilic design, a semiprivate ideation “cocoon” anchors the “we” space. The large conference room with unique fabric lighting transforms through kinetic walls into a large assembly space. These elements integrated with technology provide an environment as catalyst to progressive research, ideas and a healthier future within the work environment.