05. September 2018 | Germany | Project References

Plain rubber all-rounder for the office of the future

Versatile, authentic, practical: nora floor coverings aid modern office design

Weinheim, Germany, September 2018 – An idea that was born of necessity for small, rapidly growing start-ups in the early 2000s has now developed into a popular concept for office design: Shared workspaces with office furnishings that are practical and not only functional, but even inviting. Elements such as floor cushions and table football games create a relaxed, informal work atmosphere with the feel of a creative workshop. Studies show that multispace offices, meaning multifunctional workspaces, will be the dominant type of office in the future[1]. These are office landscapes that also offer areas of privacy and a wide range of additional options, for instance childcare, cleaning services, shoe repairs, leisure activities and fitness facilities. Office designs of this kind demand flexibility as well as coordinated acoustic and lighting concepts. This makes the interior design requirements many and varied, especially with regard to floor coverings: They must be robust and hard-wearing to withstand modular, frequently changing furnishings because where a desk is today could be used as a hallway tomorrow. The floor must also be environmentally friendly, sustainable and must satisfy the very different demands made by the various areas: extremely resistant in the foyer, sound absorbing in offices and meeting rooms, easy to clean and visually attractive in the cafeteria. Rubber floors made by nora systems unite these differing requirements perfectly, making them the ideal choice for modern office design. This was recognised by the designers of the multispace offices of Rocket Internet in Berlin and of the Contumazstall building in Hamburg.

Kautschuk-Beläge für nachhaltige Bürowelten

Rocket Internet, Berlin, Germany: Lift-off to the office of the future

Lift-off to the office of the future: The company de Winder Architekten redesigned the office space housed in the Rocket Tower in the former GSW high-rise building located in Kreuzberg, Berlin for the company Rocket Internet. First, the floor plans were redesigned with consideration for the original architecture by Sauerbruch Hutton, who designed the building complex in 1995-99. The new offices of the startup incubator feature meeting and communication areas for team collaboration as well as private areas for working undisturbed. Colourful lounge areas catch the eye. The office cell structures were dissolved and decoration reduced to purist materials and subdued shades, bringing the original interior concept back into focus and creating a spacious ambiance. The grey noraplan uni rubber floor merges harmoniously into the modern interior. The ceiling and floor form a single pale backdrop that emphasises the ample size of the space. nora rubber floors provide permanent dimensional stability, which allows them to be laid seamlessly. This produces a homogeneous surface effect.

Contumazstall building, Hamburg, Germany: Co-working for creative people

Built in 1889 and reborn in 2017: The Contumazstall building served as a quarantine station for cattle for more than 100 years. Later, it was mainly used a storage space. Today, the building in the old abattoir complex in Hamburg is part of a modern co-working space in a bustling part of the city. Two office units with a total floor space of 2500 square metres – incorporating single offices and open-plan areas – were created during renovations carried out by the Hamburg company Giorgio Gullotta Architekten in collaboration with Schnittger Architekten+Partner from Kiel. The offices are used by creative individuals, strategists, programmers and social media experts. The architects chose colours and materials that suited the historical structure in order to retain the original character of the building's interior. The  noraplan uni rubber floor in elegant grey enhances the authentic overall appearance and harmonises discretely and subtly with the atmosphere. The purist effect of the plain flooring makes it a perfect partner for a wide range of materials and colours, whether natural shades or bold accents.

Rubber floor coverings for sustainable office environments

In 2014, the Fraunhofer Institut conducted the Green Office study for the second time. Even then, it clearly showed that, without exception, the participating companies considered the issue of sustainability to be of high or very high importance.[2]  A total of 86 percent of the surveyed companies stated that sustainable and ecological design of office environments will be even more important to them in the near future and that they are prepared to invest in environmentally friendly interior furnishings. For this reason, the use of ecologically sound, healthy and authentic materials such as rubber is on the rise in the office sector. nora rubber floor coverings not only provide a diverse range of design options, they also contribute to sustainability: The less often an interior floor has to be replaced, the more positive the effect on the sustainability rating. nora rubber floors do not contain any plasticizers (phthalates) or halogens, have very low emissions and promote good interior air quality. These made-in-Germany floor coverings also have excellent acoustic qualities. The permanently elastic rubber significantly reduces footfall noise and creates a pleasantly quiet working atmosphere, even in open-plan offices. Timeless, seamless and permanently prestigious: Rubber floors are an excellent choice for modern offices in every respect.


[1] Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Stuttgart, Germany, April 2018

[2] Wilhelm Bauer (ed.), Green Office study: Motive, Erwartungen und Hemmnisse bei der Einführung umweltfreundlicher Maßnahmen in der Gestaltung von Büroarbeit, 2. aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage 2014, Fraunhofer Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.


großes Bild und Bilder 1 - 2: Rocket Internet, Berlin (Copyright: Mark Seelen for de Winder)
Bilder 3 - 7: Contumazstall, Hamburg (Copyright: Jochen Stüber)

Rocket Tower, Berlin: puristische Materialien, dezente Farben, unter anderem mit noraplan uni

Kautschuk-Beläge für nachhaltige Bürowelten

nora Böden unterstützen moderne Office-Konzepte

noraplan uni im Contumazstall Hamburg: Bei der Sanierung eines denkmalgeschützten Bürogebäudes entsteht ein moderner Co-Working-Space

Contumazstall, Hamburg: Co-Working für Kreative mit noraplan uni

Contumazstall, Hamburg: Co-Working für Kreative mit noraplan uni

nora Böden unterstützen moderne Office-Konzepte

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About nora systems

nora by Interface is the commercial rubber flooring brand of Interface, Inc. Produced in Germany for more than 65 years, nora premium rubber helps to support operations, efficiencies, health, safety and well-being with sustainable flooring that eases maintenance, reduces noise, and provides added comfort underfoot.

Interface, Inc. is a global flooring company specializing in carbon neutral carpet tile and resilient flooring, including luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and nora® rubber flooring. We help our customers create high-performance interior spaces that support well-being, productivity, and creativity, as well as the sustainability of the planet. Our mission, Climate Take Back™, invites you to join us as we commit to operating in a way that is restorative to the planet and creates a climate fit for life.

Learn more about Interface at interface.com and blog.interface.com, our nora brand at nora.com, and our FLOR® brand at FLOR.com.

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