AF TOSCANO AG is one of the leading Swiss companies for engineering, planning and consulting in the construction, architecture and electrical engineering sectors. 415 employees work in 20 branches south of the Alps, working under the motto, “local throughout Switzerland”. The newest branch is in a former factory building which has been renovated to an office complex. New workspace has been created here for 55 employees, in a spacious area of 950 square metres. “Here we’re combining several smaller locations from the Freiburg central region,” Guy Chardonnens, new Branch Manager, explains. The small town of Villars-sur- Glâne is conveniently close to the motorway and is easily accessible by public transport from the Freiburg region, making it an attractive location. “At the same time, the spacious premises give us plenty of room to be able to grow in the future without running into to space issues.” The team are also benefiting from the new premises. The modern interior architecture, with a special colour concept and thought-out acoustics, allows efficient working in a comfortable atmosphere.

A demanding client

IAF TOSCANO started planning in March 2015. The new branch had to look the part and promote an environment of concentration and good work ethic. “Everyone benefits from this,” Guy Chardonnens summarises. “The furniture unifies a modern look with functionality and very good acoustics.” AF TOSCANO set the bar high from the start; the interior furnishing of the building had to do justice to its modern redesign. Guy Chardonnens turned to our specialist trade partners Meubles Kolly when looking for a suitable furniture concept. Advisor Damien Aebischer put AF TOSCANO in touch with ASSMANN Swiss AG and the area sales manager Hans Wermelinger for the first time. “We have only heard positive things about the products and services offered by ASSMANN. When we saw the office furniture in the Meubles Kolly showroom, we were immediately impressed by the quality and functionality,” says Guy Chardonnens. The decision to furnish the branch with ASSMANN solutions was made quickly. A total of 600 pieces of furniture from various product families were integrated into the new AF TOSCANO offices. A roomy open-plan space, an executive office and various smaller group offices, were fitted with modern and ergonomic working systems from the ASSMANN Canvaro product family. There was also furniture for the conference rooms, a reception and a waiting room. AF TOSCANO’s partner company Slalom from Arcore in Italy specialises in acoustic spatial planning. Together, an acoustic test was carried out in the premises before work began. The entire office concept was planned on the basis of the data evaluated from this, Since, as well as the furniture, there was also provision for the configuration of optimised lighting and acoustic solutions. To prevent background noise from becoming a prevalent and irritating feature of the space, the acoustic separation walls from the Viteco product family were high on the list of orders. And time was of the essence. There were only three weeks available for planning, when several months is usual for a project of this scale. This made the whole task a challenge in terms of timing, which Damien Aebischer and Hans Wermelinger mastered flawlessly. Together, they designed workspaces that impressed the client.

Step by step

Damien Aebischer’s concept was realised in three steps. At the end of 2015 the first stage of the building renovation was complete and a few colleagues were able to occupy their freshly furnished workspaces. The second stage finished in summer 2016 and the final round of renovation began in 2018. As well as the regular staff, 16 new employees moved to the newly renovated office complex. The final delivery of ASSMANN office furniture took place in Spring 2019, completing the project. The new workspaces make it immediately clear that AF TOSCANO takes ergonomic working seriously. Every employee has a generous amount of space. Both the meeting rooms and break-out spaces were designed to be spacious, and not to feel cluttered, incorporating white tones and oak décor pieces for an open and inviting feel. Acoustic elements in bright red and apple green serve as attractive eye-catchers in the space. This statement colour concept was based on the company’s history, as AF TOSCANO’s black logo was once red. This tone was chosen for the acoustic elements and the green shade creates a lively contrast. The result is a fresh and atmospheric overall feel. The height-adjustable desks from the Canvaro range provide the basis for an ergonomic working space. They allow employees to adjust their height of the tabletops to their own preference and choose whether they work in a seated or standing position. To ensure people’s working space doesn’t slowly vanish beneath piles of paperwork, every employee has a generously proportioned Pontis open space container to store all their possessions and relevant documents. The storage solutions also help give the open office space a cohesive feel. The Viteco partition walls provide acoustic separation between the workspaces. They create a comfortable environment for intensive concentration and work, and even ensure telephone calls don’t disturb other colleagues. Spacious cupboards and shelving solutions from the Allvia and Intavis families make sure there’s enough space for document storage. The AF TOSCANO employees can also count on a prestigious design and comfortable functionality for their customer interactions. In the conference room, all the participants gather around the stylishly designed and generously proportioned table system from the Antaro product family, with room for everyone. Employees who’ve just had a long meeting are looking for a bit of variety in their breaks. That’s where the Pontis standing desk in the break-out room comes in. Standing, or sitting on high stools, demands a different posture to sitting at a desk or conference table. One more reason to look forward to a coffee or a little snack between meetings. Guy Chardonnens is impressed with the finished furnishing concept, “The variety in ASSMANN’s collections allowed us to create individually optimised workspaces that not only look harmonious but also fulfil all our criteria.” And Guy Chardonnens isn’t the only one who’s impressed. Feedback from his colleagues was entirely positive. An attractive AF TOSCANO building furnished with ASSMANN office systems – it just seems to fit.

The planned office layout aimed to combine cutting- edge design with high levels of functionality and quality. When creating an open-plan office space, it is vital to make sure the acoustics have been carefully considered.

There was only a short period of three weeks in which to plan the furnishing design. There were several stages to the works.

Converting an old factory building

Specialist retail partner:
Meubles Kolly

Client details:
AF TOSCANO was founded in 1959 and is one of Switzerland’s leading construction firms today.