The city of Albstadt advertises itself with the slogan "Life. Far above normal". This is due to the special geographical location of the city on the edge of a high plateau. It is also affectionately called the "Penthouse of the Swabians", and this is exactly where the local Volksbank Albstadt eG moved into its new administrative headquarters in June 2020. The approach with regard to the new building was not so typical. The area managers were initially asked about their requirements for the building before an architecture competition was put out to tender. Moreover, only local craftsmen were used for the construction. It quickly became clear to everyone involved that this particular construction would be completely different from many other projects to date, but more about that later.
Following intensive consultations with the 120 members of staff, it was decided that the new offices were to be non-territorial. Interstuhl (a local office chair manufacturer) and Meinlschmidt Raumkonzepte were brought on board for the detailed design, and Waldmann for the lighting design. The new office landscape appeals for the highly digitalised working environment and extremely stylish interior - the best evidence of the tremendous variety of the luminaires. The desks all have free-standing luminaires that meet the flexible design concept perfectly. A double-head version to illuminate four workplaces, a single luminaire head for two workplaces. The daylight and presence sensors unobtrusively ensure that the right amount of light is provided as soon as a workplace is occupied. The light effect is very pleasant overall. The combination of large window faꞔades and almost exclusively direct/indirect luminaires enhances this feel-good effect.
It is continued in the use of mainly warm hues in the overall design. Between the work areas, which staff are able to choose freely on a daily basis, are individual closed rooms that are used for meetings or as retreats. Dimmable suspended luminaires provide the appropriate lighting for a particular purpose. The lampshades of the VIVAA suspended luminaires used here are perfectly matched to the special colours of the comfortable furniture. So far, so good. But let's return to the processing of the project. Waldmann's sales and field representatives visited the Albstadt site together with the "general contractor" in order to decide which luminaires should be installed how and where. To put it diplomatically, it's a fact that making decisions with general contractors is often far from straightforward and can be a long and drawn-out process - but this was not the case in Albstadt. During the on-site inspection, Waldmann's experts were often asked for their suggestions. The general contractor simply said, "Well, this is what we're going to do". When discussing the delivery date at the end, the lady from Waldmann pointed out that an official order was needed before a specific date could be given from the system. The general contractor simply said, "We're having the lights. Consider them ordered." A little perplexed, the lady from Waldmann said that she still needed something in writing. Which is exactly what she got. The general contractor tore a sheet off his notepad, estimated how many luminaires were required, and wrote the number down. It is unlikely that anyone who was there will forget this rather unorthodox way of issuing an order in a hurry. Not only are the city of Albstadt and its topography special; so too are the people. Wonderfully normal people, the citizens of Albstadt.