Christoph Kasslatter, CEO of Markas, and Renzo Caramaschi, mayor of Bolzano at the opening ceremony of the new Markas headquarters

The new Markas headquarters: A building, designed by employees for employees

19.12.2019 - Italy

42 metre-high and 10 light-flooded floors distributed over a total space of almost 47,000 cubic metres. What really makes the new headquarters of Markas this extraordinary? The interior design was largely developed by the employees themselves and in close cooperation with the commissioned design office.

“The new and characteristic headquarters, one of the tallest buildings in the city, is not only a symbol of Markas’ success and entrepreneurship but also one of the most important construction projects in its district. A district that, within the next years, will see an intense development and growth of importance” said Renzo Caramaschi, mayor of Bolzano, who recently took the opportunity to compliment the constant commitment and passion with which Markas has always carried out its activities. Only a few days ago, Caramaschi also presented the annual balance sheet of the city of Bolzano, which, at a total of €327.3 milion,  hardly differs from the balance sheet of a company like Markas.
The idea of the new headquarters of Markas Italy was to create a building dedicated to the wellbeing of people

The idea: a building dedicated to the well-being of people

With the idea of a common interior design, employees from every department were involved in the planning of the office rooms from the very beginning in order to make sure that the needs and demands of every division were included. A project that culminated in a three-day workshop with Vitra, the renowned Swiss design studio that has been commissioned with the interior design. Office and meeting rooms, canteen and cafeteria as well as lounge areas and the panorama terrace: every single room reflects the ideas and needs of the employees.

“Every room was designed with the firm conviction that a pleasant and familiar working environment has a great influence on the satisfaction of the team. The new headquarters has therefore been designed not only considering the environmental sustainability but also the well-being of our employees. Topics that have always been of great importance for us”, said Christoph Kasslatter, CEO of Markas. “The new headquarters reflect our corporate culture and strengthens our concept of consistency, vision and trust in our business sector. It’s a place that enables our team to work even better, optimise organisational processes and make them more efficient. A change that allows our large team to invest more energy in the needs of our custormers.”
The modern entrance hall of the new headquarters of Markas

Discovering the new Markas headquarters

While stepping into the entrance hall, one thing becomes immediately clear: this building is different from any other company headquarters. The large, welcoming reception and the elegant lounge area give a first impression of the basic idea that accompanied the entire planning of the new building: the new headquarters – a place to feel good.
A further proof of this, is that the new Markas headquarters, as the first building in Italy, has recently been awarded with the Well Gold certification in the category of “New and Existing Buildings” that focusses on the health and mental well-being of the persons located in the building. An award that is perfectly in line with our business philosophy, which places the employees’ satisfaction at the forefront and sees it as the key to ensure the quality of our service.

To the right of the reception several small meeting rooms offer a space for meetings with visitors. While the guest waits to meet his counterpart, he can make himself comfortable in the lounge area and have a look at the “Hall of Fame” – a wooden timeline on which the most important milestones of the company are presented. Also awards such as the “Great Place to Work” Award, which Markas has received over the years, are displayed here.
The new workplaces are designed in an open-space concept, but there are also rooms for concentrated work

Flexible working spaces with a panoramic view of Bolzano: the floors 7-10

Together with the Austrian architecture office ATP Innsbruck integral, who was commissioned with the planning of the new headquarters, the building was designed in the face of Markas’ great potential of growth. To this effect the floors were innovatively set up in the “top down” concept (from the top to the bottom), in order to be able to extend the freestanding floors (from the ground floor to the fifth floor) in a second moment.

This unconventional architectural project has spread the offices over the top floors (7-10), offering a panoramic view of Bolzano and its surrounding mountains. The offices themselves are based on the modern open-space concept – with exceptions: in addition to the open-space workplaces, meeting rooms, workshop areas and soundproof niche rooms were integrated in order to offer various spaces for a more concentrated work. In this way, every employee (equipped with a laptop and wireless headset) has the possibility to choose the location that best suits his work. In addition and in order to create the best possible working conditions, the ergonomic workplaces are equipped with a daylight control system to adapt the lighting on the natural course of the day. The supplementary darkening system also prevents the incursion of direct sunlight. 
The canteen offers space for up to 64 persons.

Relaxation and exercise are indispensable

In order to allow oneself a relaxing break, the 6th floor was created with a canteen for up to 64 persons, a coffee area and a terrace. Beyond that, the entire 4th floor was transformed into a big panoramic terrace with hanging garden that offers, especially during the summer months, a further relaxing zone.

To encourage the exercise and exchange between the various departments, small lounge areas with central drinking fountains were created on each floor. The wooden spiral staircase is an additional possibility to move less using the elevator and, instead, move more by foot between the different floors. This concept is rounded off by the fitness centre, which is available day and night and on seven days a week to the employees.

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