“B-beautiful! B-styled! B-wild! B-sexy! B-you!” Accompanied by Cyndi Lauper’s pop song “Girls just want to have fun”. The recent TV commercial made it absolutely clear that the beauty and health retailer BIPA, a subsidiary of the parent company REWE International AG and the market leader for beauty and health retailing in Austria, stands for glamour, fun and lightness. And exactly these values that are communicated in the media are also reflected in the new BIPA headquarters in the NÖ-Süd Industriezentrum near Vösendorf.
At first glance, the four-storey building designed by the Vienna architects BEHF appears inconspicuous and plain. The external appearance is defined by conventional ribbon windows and a light-grey plastered facade. Only the bright square on the facade gives a hint of the busy activity going on inside. The colour arouses curiosity – for good reason. After you have passed through the vestibule, you become immersed in a world of magenta and violet.
The colour design enables the creation of attractive accents, for example with the CI colour magenta, typical BIPA images and brightly coloured carpet tiles. Using the Bene colour spectrum “Spice” it was also possible to include the furniture in the characteristic colour concept. PARCS elements and RM_room modules with violet textile applications were integrated into the waiting/reception areas, for example. There are 106 permanent workstations in total, plus extensive privacy areas and communication zones for informal meetings.
The communication zone in the middle of the building is made up of different elements from the PARCS series. The Causeways and Pop-up stools invite group brainstorming sessions or breaks, while the Wing Chairs offer peace and quiet with acoustic privacy. With magenta, violet and the fresh, complementary colour of grass green, there is a conscious focus on creative work and relaxation. In addition, the amorphous ceiling openings and the internal staircase aims to encourage communication between the second and third floors.
Communication across the hierarchy in open space was requested by the BIPA managing director Herbert Sauer: “BIPA has a young, dynamic team that excels in rapid and strong communication. We therefore considered it important to create separate areas where it is particularly easy to exchange knowledge.”
The working zone situated along the facade is the counterpart to the rich mix of communications. This is where concentrated working takes place, and the surrounding colour design is appropriate. Bene products from the K2, KT and KX series create the mobile framework, and there are also T7 workbenches and M_COM tables. All the tables and container furniture are white and light grey. Only the separating panels between the workstations and the characteristic RONDO meeting chairs create isolated splashes of colour.
Directly next to the reception area, there is a separate room for after-work group discussions and a few drinks. The “Coole Keller” [Cool Cellar] is a 50 m² lounge with carpets, bookshelves, sofas and flat-screen TVs. Kitchen equipment and a drinks machine invite people to stay for a while, and there is even table football. The floors have an industrial feel, there is graffiti on the concrete walls. A busy day at work comes to an end.
Managing director Hubert Sauer remembers: “The BIPA team had grown considerably in recent years, and so we had an extreme shortage of space in our old offices.” Completed in 2011, the new building has 3,500 m² and is already equipped for expansion at a later date: as a result of the comb-shaped structure – the linear connecting hallway can be continued as required because the supported construction does not affect the car park – the REWE Group company headquarters can be extended at any time if necessary.