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Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Facility Management, FacilityBlog, Friday Funny, Topics

Tagged: , , ,

Published on April 01, 2009 with 1 Comment


The new headquarters for Mayr-Melnhof, an Austrian wood processing company, has added an architectural highlight to the Styrian landscape. The wooden structure appears to float, skilfully reflecting the firm’s expertise. Designed by Nussmüller architects, the building is framed by a stable wood structure and suspended several meters above the ground.

Nussmüller architects joined forces with Bene to conjure up a light and spacious environment that brings together areas for communication and concentration. Surrounded by woodland, the green building adapts well to its environs while showcasing the material wood in an artistic manner.

The connecting structure, made of glass, spans two stories and houses the foyer and reception area. The transparent glass cube breaks up the solidity of the 80-meter-tall wooden frame and fuses different architectural qualities.

The pine tree in the centre of the atrium—from which offices and meeting rooms radiate away—is the centre of attention inside the space. Incorporating a cafeteria and restaurant, the connecting structure encourages relaxation, simultaneously providing space for informal exchanges and communication.

Additional lounges are arranged on the office floors. The connecting glass structure and the glass facades of the wooden cubes afford spectacular vistas of the Styrian landscape. The furnishing scheme combines the generous open communication areas inside the connecting structure with private areas for concentration.

The office staff work in single and open-plan offices extending on two floors inside the oblong wooden cube structure. Featuring clear geometric forms the offices appear open toward the inside thanks to transparent, flush mounted RG glass partition walls.

Red sideboards delineate the individual work spaces, creating separate areas for concentration but enabling views across the entire floor due to their low height. This arrangement embodies Bene’s notion of corporate culture as a continuous process of experiencing and learning.

This is accomplished at Mayr-Melnhof by combining dynamism, transparency and privacy. The result is an interior which promotes work and the exchange of information, and which improves individual motivation by focusing on the benefit of the entire team. Thus, office furnishing becomes a vehicle for corporate development.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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  1. Pretty cool, it reminds me of housing structures built in the Canadian Arctic, where everything is built on stilts, because of permafrost.

    That is to say, put buildings on ground level and the earth would literally start to melt.

    Apparently these structures are more earth-quake resistant as well.

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