A handful of seeds, a cultivated field, a rich harvest. Nothing against a little rural romance – but it is a bit dusty. Modern seeds have long been developed in hi-tech laboratories and hold incredible potential: They are adapted to the respective climate and soil, increase yields and reduce the use of pesticides. Seeds are also the specialty of KWS, a traditional, independent family company in its 6th generation. KWS started its journey to be amongst the world‘s top seed manufacturers from its headquarters in rural Einbeck and is now opening a new office location – in the heart of Berlin. KWS has moved into the new office and commercial complex “Im Wirtschaftswunder” in the Schöneberg district. The former headquarters of a bank from the 1980s lay unused – and has been revitalized by Kinzo. The environment: an urbanity reflecting the breaks in the history of the city, rugged, formed, authentic, developing rapidly in its own rhythm. But how does a medium-sized seed company from the rural Südniedersachsen fit into such a cauldron?
Kinzo designed the simple answer to this contradiction: urbanity meets modern agriculture. The international 350-strong KWS team is now working in a tailor-made office world that meets the requirements for modern, agile work and at the same time translates the traditional corporate identity into urban coolness: four floors with workplaces as well as places of retreat and communication, both in terms of design and organization, the honeycomb of a colony of bees. Above it is the modern conference floor, a science fiction laboratory made of glass, dark tones and orange contrasts, in which new ideas are grown, sown and harvested.
As a consultant and designer, Kinzo has declared the apparent contradiction between traditional agriculture, modern technology and rough urbanity to be a virtue: an area of tension, spatially implemented in such a way that it is future-oriented and thus promotes and shapes the desired corporate change.