A new headquarters in “fast motion” – CSMM designs a new workplace for 3D pioneer Maxon
Munich – Frankfurt, 27 September 2022 – From structural shell to move-in ready office in only 101 days: Architecture and consulting firm CSMM created a distinctive design for Maxon Computer GmbH’s 1500-square-metre workplace in record time. The goal for the software developer was to make the corporate culture evident in every corner of its headquarters in Bad Homburg’s “EO” quarter. CSMM delivered an innovative concept that transformed the existing footprint into an intelligent mix of agile spaces for meetings and collaborative teamwork, ticking all the boxes for today’s much-touted hybrid workplaces – including space for 100 workstations designed for co-creative interaction as well as deep concentration. The CSMM architects demonstrated with this custom-made workplace just how quickly they can execute an interior design concept that is as creative as it is expressive of the client’s corporate identity. By placing their full trust and confidence in CSMM, Maxon gave the architects the freedom they needed to translate the company’s core values – from transparency to team building – into a timeless, three-dimensional aesthetic that can be easily replicated in its other US and Canada-based branch offices.
“When it came to redesigning our headquarters, we knew we wanted to work with CSMM to create a modern, welcoming office with short reporting lines. The objective was to create a workplace that is easy to use as well as appealing – precisely the unique selling points that make Maxon stand out from the crowd,” explains Gesa Häfner, Chief Human Resources Officer and General Counsel at Maxon. The highlight of the office is the 400-square-metre “Maxonworld” with a range of creative spaces, a modern communal kitchen and stadium-style seating. “We call it the marketplace – a gathering place and the beating heart of the office featuring a striking red entrance inspired by the shape and colour of Maxon’s logo. When we were designing the workplace, our main driver was giving the client a recognizable corporate identity,” emphasizes Malte Tschörtner, Managing Partner at CSMM. The office also includes a state-of-the-art 4D cinema where Maxon can screen the special effects for movies, TV shows and adverts that were originally produced in the Bod Homburg studio.
The key challenge for CSMM was to design a workplace that expresses the client’s identity with very little lead time. Maxon Computer GmbH has seen spectacular growth over the past 20 years, becoming one of the world’s great pioneers in professional solutions for digital computer graphics. “Faced with such rapid growth, it was clear that we had to expand and modernise our headquarters and all the spaces in it as quickly as possible,” says Gesa Häfner. “That made it all the more impressive to see how CSMM handled the process – despite the pandemic-related delays that were impacting everybody everywhere. Finding such a dynamic partner was exactly what we needed at the time.” Tschörtner describes the process as follows: “We got involved as soon as Maxon started negotiating the lease – and we played a proactive role in the negotiations. After that, we moved on to designing and setting up the workplace.” The staff certainly had their say in the needs analysis, but it was CSMM that coordinated the overall process, including sampling, with short decision cycles and full decision-making authority. “We made a point of agreeing explicit expectations and targets in advance, so that we could be consistent and purposeful in our design work without always waiting for approval.” Thanks to such a strong partnership built on trust, Maxon was able to move into the redesigned headquarters in just three and a half months. “Everyone is always talking about delays and disruptions these days,” explains Malte Tschörtner. “But what was so impressive about this project was how quickly clients can have a move-in ready corporate interiors if they find a competent partner they can trust.”
An inspiring workplace design that drives employee retention
The fittings and the furnishings in the space helped strengthen teamwork right from the outset: “We find it a lot easier to train and onboard new employees in the new office,” confirms Häfner. “And the atmosphere is super friendly and relaxed.” With such a smart mix of agile spaces fostering both community and creativity, the members of staff can form a strong bond with the company. “This is also where we can celebrate the successes of our individual teams, which are ultimately successes for us all.” Even the colour palette Maxon chose really captures the vibe of the company. The almost futuristic colour palette from blue to beige reflects the brand’s virtual identity. CSMM took inspiration from the original building – an old manor house with a private pool – using beachy, seaside colours that convey a sense of freedom to the team. Transparent films on the glass partitions with a multi-coloured rainbow effect create changing moods and optical illusions throughout the office. “Our whole team got involved in choosing the theme. We wanted the client to have a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere,” explained Fouad Brigache, team leader at CSMM Frankfurt. “Our goal was to design a space that could be easily replicated across all of the company’s branch offices and make every member of staff – no matter where they were in the world – feel a deep connection with the company and its roots.”
Maxon develops powerful yet easy-to-use software solutions for creatives working in 2D and 3D design, motion graphics, visual effects and visualization. Maxon's innovative product portfolio helps artists optimize their creative workflows. Product lines include the award-winning Cinema 4D suite for 3D modeling, simulation and animation; the intuitive Forger mobile sculpting app; the versatile Red Giant suite of revolutionary tools for editing, motion design and film production; the ultra-fast Redshift renderer; and ZBrush, the industry standard for digital sculpting and painting.
Maxon is part of the Nemetschek Group.
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