The new Zalando Headquarters is the heart of Zalando’s three building campus, located in the center of Berlin Friedrichshain neighborhood. For this dynamic e-commerce giant, HENN translated the digital commons of the internet into a physical workplace, designed for the flow of information and exchange of ideas. HENN’s design declares the city’s new identity as a global tech hub, while staying true to its Berliner roots.
Project Name: Zaland
Studio Name: HENN Architekten
Typology: Office, Tech
Client: Zalando SE
Location: Berlin, Germany
Area GFA: 59,000 m²
Program: Office, Exhibition, Showroom, Gastronomy, Nursery, Sport facilities
Consultants: BuroHappold Engineering (Structural engineering), BuroHappold Engineering (MEP), hhpberlin (Fire protection), Müller-BBM (Building physics) KINZO, Bartenbach LichtLabor (Lighting design), Atelier Loidl (Landscape architecture)
Partner in Charge: Christian Bechtle
Project Director: Daniel Festag
Team: Katrin Jacobs, Martin Henn, Stefan Sinning, Marta Gałdyś, Tiffany Taraska, Oliver Koch, Martin Erdinger, Klaus Ransmayr, Dirk Breuer, Ralph Hempel, Attila Horvath, Silke Beckmann, Denise Gellinger
The main building’s double-X shaped plan is a contemporary update of the Berlin Block. Oriented diagonally to the city’s urban grid, it inverts the typical courtyard typology – rather than a closed, introverted block, the interior courtyards are shifted to the perimeter of the site to create an inviting and dynamic street-frontage. Wrapped in highly-transparent glass, the new HQ is an open presence in the city that creates a fluid transition between public and private.
The HQ is organized as a double-helix of interlocking double-height spaces, to create a dynamic mix of multi-story open spaces and focused concentration zones. The building’s diverse programs – conference rooms, training zones, a cafe and restaurant, auditorium, work spaces, kitchens, sports areas, child care facilities, basketball court and roof terrace – are organized around the vibrant central atrium.
Rendered in a palette of warm wood, cool concrete and neon tubing, the central atrium is a visual feast of dynamically interwoven floor slabs and cascading stairways. The main staircase anchors the space, and functions as circulation and a seating landscape for informal meetings and events.
The upper floors are composed of “neighborhoods”, a mix of fixed workstations and flexible co-working spaces, and “living rooms”, communal lounges, kitchenettes, and informal spaces, designed to promote creativity and knowledge exchange. The “living rooms” and balustrade seating are concentrated around the central atrium, the extroverted, social heart of the building. Away from the atrium, towards the periphery of the building, the spaces become quieter and more secluded.