What should you do when your new office building is almost finished and a pandemic spreads around the world, demanding a radical rethink? Röhm GmbH was forced to respond to these questions shortly before moving into its new space in Darmstadt. 500 offices with around 600 workplaces were on the verge of completion. But all of a sudden – almost overnight – the company was forced to embrace fresh concepts and furnishing solutions to enable hybrid work. These events of spring 2020 compelled Röhm to go back to the drawing board and start fashioning modern and flexible worlds of work.


“We were actually nearing the finishing line”, recalls Esther Schütz, Head of Organisational Development. The extensive conversions of the six storeys at Röhm GmbH were almost complete. But new challenges emerged suddenly and without warning. And the most pressing issue? How can we open up the building for New Work, without starting again from scratch? Röhm found its answer in numerous product solutions and an extensive furnishing concept from ASSMANN. The company adopted a ‘design thinking approach’ and enquired as to the wishes of employees to transform an office interior in a modern building into a fresh working environment with a feel-good vibe. After all, feeling as comfortable at the workplace as you do at home is one of the guiding principles of New Work. An office as a space where people enjoy coming together – this was an important consideration when developing the concept and is reflected in many areas of the new building.

Colour coded in black, white and grey with red highlights, the company stuck to open-plan spaces with flexible office furnishing systems wherever it could. Not only do the colours match Röhm’s corporate design, they also create a productive working atmosphere. Planter boxes and a blend of wooden elements add a natural touch. People enjoy coming together in these spaces to brainstorm and develop fresh ideas.


One of the most eye-catching features is the open-plan area with stage section for radically different talks and discussions. The ensemble establishes completely new zones for collaborative work and creative discussions – true to the motto: setting the stage for New Work. The use of modular seating from the Consento series and Syneo-Part movable partitions, creates work surfaces in the open-plan spaces that permit flexible uses and unlimited design options. Syneo-Soft lounge furniture and the Consento-Cremona sofa with its extremely high back section were selected to enable undisturbed meetings and concentrated work. Sound-absorbing curtains produce optimised room acoustics and a pleasant working environment to heighten a sense of well-being among the employees. The four work cafés are particularly popular among many of the employees, not only as places to get together in peace and quiet during break times but also as places to organise technical discussions and short meetings in a relaxed environment. They are great places to brainstorm new ideas and creative approaches outside of the usual work setting. Extremely comfortable seating solutions such as the Syneo diner modules or the attractively designed Consento Livorno armchair produce particularly inviting spaces.

“We used the challenge as an opportunity and took an important step towards New Work. This is also thanks to ASSMANN’s good work, not only in implementing what was in our heads, but also in finding the best solution for us in a collaborative process.” ´

Esther Schütz, Organisational Development at Röhm

The work cafés are the perfect setting for relaxed breaks and informal chats, but also for productive meetings and focused work.

“The four work cafés are my favourite places to work. With their welcoming atmosphere, they are ideal for informal discussions and short breaks and are filled with positive inspiration and energy – a perfect example of successful NEW WORK.”

Esther Schütz, Organisational Development at Röhm


Röhm took the global Covid pandemic as an additional incentive to rethink its approach to work. The outcome of this process brings together the array of differing requirements among the employees and simultaneously invites them to adopt new working practices – with success: Mobile, multifunctional furnishing solutions such as the four battery-powered, height-adjustable Pontis Hypa desks and seminar tables deliver real added value for flexible offices and the demands of New Work. The foldable table top doubles up as a magnetic whiteboard to collect ideas and improve collaborative output.


Fitted with casters, the Consento seating and module systems can be moved quickly and easily. The furniture therefore invites employees to embrace fresh forms of collaboration and create the ideal setting for focused and productive work.


The introduction of hybrid work arrangements increased the need for storage space to keep personal items safe and sound while the owner is away from their desk. The solution: a total of eight Alvia smart lockers on all storeys. Not only do they keep personal items stored safely, they are also ideal pigeonholes to circulate confidential documents, irrespective of whether the recipient is or is not currently at their desk. New Work solutions are attracting more and more followers even outside the company. Customers and service providers who visited Röhm shortly after the move were visibly astonished and effusive in their praise.


So how do the employees perceive their new world of work? To continue the journey, Röhm conducted a survey a year after the move. The results plainly show that the company is on the right track: the modern, open-plan spaces create an inspirational atmosphere that lays the foundation for New Work and invites everyone concerned to adopt a fresh mindset.


Workshops and discussions with all stakeholders will continue the journey – not only in Darmstadt. Indeed, Röhm has already started implementing the New Work concept at its locations in China and the United States. Other smart office solutions such as booking software are in the pipeline to continue simplifying work. The benefits: employees can book office workspaces conveniently from home, which will save even more resources and improve workflow efficiency. Esther Schütz speaks of a change process that is akin to a journey – one that is far from over.


Height-adjustable and foldable Pontis Hypa desks with Syneo-Part stools in different sizes and variants were selected for the interactive conference rooms due to their flexibility.


The open-plan spaces and work cafés are filled with Syneo soft lounge furniture, Consento Messina modular seating, Consento Lamezia armchairs that can be swivelled 360 degrees in wing chair look and Consento Cremona sofas with back and side panels for maximised seating comfort. Pesaro side tables, Solos bistro tables and mobile Syneo walls ensure comfortable work in a relaxed atmosphere.


Eight Allvia smart lockers were installed as individual storage space systems, which employees can open with their ID cards.


Around 450 employees worked initially at different locations when Röhm was spun off from the Evonik Group in 2019. This temporary solution came to an end with the construction of new headquarters at the original location in Darmstadt. Dr Otto Röhm, a chemist, laid the foundation in the city in 1909, where the company patron achieved his international breakthrough 90 years ago with PLEXIGLAS®. The new company headquarters are now as translucent and innovative as PLEXIGLAS® itself. Röhm is a leading provider of methacrylate chemicals. A global operator, the company has a workforce of around 3,500 on four continents. Included in the broad product portfolio is the world-famous PLEXIGLAS® brand and its most important raw material, methyl methacrylate, which is manufactured within a global production network. Customers operate in growth markets such as the automotive, electronics and construction sectors.