The University of St. Gallen in Switzerland is one of the most prestigious in the world. According to the Financial Times, its Masters in Management is second to none on planet earth. To cultivate excellence, it is constantly working for the well-being of its students. This is how a revolutionary project came out of the ground. A Library ? Nay, a coworking space, noisy on purpose, which is even open to people from outside the campus.
At first glance, the challenge seems completely crazy: offer a high-end workplace in which all activities can coexist: from the noisiest to the most silent. Departure for “theCO”, a Coworking Space built by German company Wilkhahn, a global specialist in high-end office furniture.
A unique place
Unlike a library, the CO is not meant to be silent, but a place where people can meet and interact. What makes it so special is that even the general public is also invited to participate. At conferences or seminars, anyone interested can become actively involved in research or teaching, including those who are not registered on campus.
The CO comes in the form of an open-plan space of about 700 square meters. Light colored curtains were added instead of walls to provide the different sections with auditory and visual partitions. The zone can accommodate at the same time students reflecting on a seminar and debates. The placement of furniture was a crucial point. The university wanted them mobile, versatile and combinable as much as possible.
Furniture geared towards flexibility and mobility
The space is equipped with 2 types of tables: the Confair and the Timetable Shift mobile high tables (both designed by designer Andreas Störiko). The foldable Confair can be used as an individual workspace or for seminars when combined with other folding tables. Timetable Shift is ideal for meetings and generally for people who want to get up while working. Both models are equipped with casters and the folding table can be raised and moved in no time. Always in a spirit of flexibility and mobility. This allows room for conferences or even parties if necessary.
The choice of seats was also determined by the idea of opening up all possibilities of using space. If you are not new to this site you know what to use for it: sit-stand stools! It is positioned as the reference CO equipment in this field. Regarding this crucial choice, Wilkhahn highlighted the Stitz. Thanks to its flexible backrest, the versatile Occo chair will go with it. It was selected for its comfort. There is no longer any need to point out that the Occo can be fitted with casters. Mobility above all else, of course !
Finally, in order to remember that we are in a university, the versatile Aula chair is available in several copies. They can be set up in rows and stacked in an instant for conferences. At the end of the latter, the Insit upholstered sofas with backrest will be a warm welcome to student discussions.
Design and ergonomics to bring people together and exchange ideas. And breaking through borders, by inviting in a beautiful setting who wants to attend cultural events. This is a very good use of the material by Wilkhahn and the University of St. Gallen. Hats off!