It is consistently true in the planning of office projects that the earlier the architects and companies responsible for interior design start to collaborate, the easier it is to consider all of the important aspects. For instance, the number of rooms and their sizes are not the only relevant factors when designing office space. It is also important to clarify early on how the rooms will be used. Modern office space will frequently include a central or other area where employees can meet to talk. But the slender shape of many offices – even some currently in planning – makes this impossible. The Vereinigung freischaffender Architekten Deutschlands e.V. (VfA) – the Association of Freelance Architects in Germany – works closely with its supporting members in the various trades from the start to the end of a project to ensure that problems like this do not occur in the future.
VfA champions the rights of freelance architects and will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2018. ASSMANN has been a supporting member for over six years. The annual 'Supporting Members' Day' is a welcome opportunity for face-to-face meetings to share experiences and to recognise common ground. To help in the process, the architects provide insight into their work and ongoing projects. Günter Osterhaus, head of planning and project management at ASSMANN BÜROMÖBEL, recently attended another of these gatherings. "An important item on this year's agenda was to clarify and understand how architects would like to communicate and work with manufacturers and suppliers", he reports. Two of the key issues were how to organise neutral support within a project, and which particular factors need to be taken into consideration when working with clients in the public sector.
A clearer focus on networks
Both sides – VfA and its supporting members – quickly agreed that more and even closer contact would further strengthen the collaboration. To do this, the plan is to install direct links to the supporting members on the VfA website and also to list the respective contact persons in each of the companies. Proceeding in this way will make it easier for VfA architects to find the right person to contact and will therefore speed up the entire project workflow.
A new project involving ASSMANN was also launched at the gathering in Berlin: a co-working space for six architecture students will be set up in the VfA offices on Kurfürstenstraße in Berlin. ASSMANN will support this project by contributing planning proposals and the matching products.