Office as Terrace

Designing a Biophillic, Team-Centric Workplace

Designing a tech HQ that blurs the boundaries between inside and out


Design a Fin-tech office in Lübeck, Germany. The competition breif highlighted the need to consolidate diverse teams- previously different brands in different locations- under one roof, and offer them a superior workplace experience at a prime location.




Spring 2022


-Workplace Strategy


HENN Architects

The new HQ of Hypoport is identity-forming and iconic. It is a bold expression of a networked, digital company. It achieves this while respecting its neighbors and the riverside panorama. Representing a dialogue between the new group headquarters of Hypoport and Lübeck's old town, It’s main feature- a staggered system of terraces - takes advantage of the special location along the former city moat, making it a unique experience for all employees.


Staircases and ramps in the Atrium Space are more than just access points: They become stages and meeting places. From these vantage points one comprehends the diversity of the office world. The workplaces are no longer structured into closed offices, but in zones for activity-based work. They are clearly distinguished from one another, yet it’s possible to move freely between them. The interplay of the zones leads to interactions, creating an analog network. The common areas, or “fireplaces” offer users opportunities to meet and collaborate, have spontaneous conversations, or digital meetings.

The Plaza

The terraces are supplemented by a public plaza along the new promenade. It serves as an interface between public and semi-public functions, consisting of a café, gastronomy and multifunctional work and exhibition spaces. It creates a clear address for the company and an increased open space quality for all citizens.

The Office Concept

-Each floor would have standard workplaces dispersed along the periphery. A standard team size of 16 people was assumed.
-Groups of teams would then be clustered into 3 neighborhood per floor, each provided with 2x Focus Areas, 2x M size Meeting Rooms, 2x S Meeting Rooms, 3x Phone Booths, a storage zone, as well as a fireplace
-the fireplaces represent the heart of the neighborhood. They are multi-functional spaces fitted out with bespoke, organically shaped carpentry that house desks, bleachers, a small kitchenette, and booths. Teams from each neighborhood can use it as a gathering and/or workspace.
- A collection of 10 neighborhoods make up the “brand” HQ, housing 600 employees.

The User-Journey

The Lübeck HQ offers a diverse array of experiences. It creates bespoke environments both outside and inside. Considering its dynamic form, the architecture ensures that no corner of the office looks or feels the same. Employees can then find the spaces that suit their daily needs

Arriving at the Office

You make your way towards the office. Approaching the building, you come through the plaza and enter via a generous foyer. Visitors are welcomed towards the cafe on the south, while a view to the atrium opens up for employees in the north.

At the "Fireplace"

Once inside, an assemblage of stairs and bridges ushers you towards your floor. On your level, you find your team ready for the daily stand-up at the custom made, multi-functional piece of carpentry dubbed the “fireplace”. It houses a small table, coffee machine, storage and staggard seating.

Outdoor Workday

Today is a beautiful, sunny day, so you take your laptop outside and enjoy the view while you work through your daily tasks. What a luxury to have an office that truly feels like home!

A Café with a View

At the end of the workday, you meet one of your friends at the Café. You look onto the Stadtgraben through the tripple-height windows as you share a pizza along with a Lübeck Witbier, discussing your latest project and the productive day you had.