This interior architecture studio’s hospitality-inspired concept won the design competition for a Japanese medtech firm’s new 11-story, 35,000 square-metre German and EMEA headquarters in Hamburg. The brief was to translate the brand identity, including the slogan, Friendly, Welcoming and Open. Designed in white, structured with light!, into an interior and lighting design weaving the flair of hospitality into office spaces, thereby encouraging employee collaboration when finding optimal customer solutions.

Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2023
First Award | Interior (Workplace) (Built)

Project Name: Olympus Campus Hamburg
Category: Office Building
Studio Name: JOI-Design IAD joehnk + partner mbB
Design Team: Sabrina Voecks
Area: 35.000 qm
Year: 2021
Location: Wendenstraße 20, 20097 Hamburg, Germany
Consultants: Drees & Sommer SE – Berater Olympus
GPBau GmbH – Berater Olympus
Cremerius Consulting GmbH – Berater Olympus
Ebert Ingenieure GmbH – Berater Olympus
Photography Credits: Credits: Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design


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©Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Designed to follow the ‘New Work’ philosophy that empowers employees through creative atmospheres tailored for individual work styles, the building achieved Germany’s DGNB Gold sustainability certification. The designer’s aim was two-fold: creating a modern translation of this century-old company’s identity that was immediately recognisable to visitors, and in office areas, working collaboratively to integrate employees’ ideas about style and functionality as proof that the brand embraces new ways of thinking.

Founded in Japan in 1919, the company’s legacy in scientific research inspired the guiding concept for the entrance area and ground floor lobby and café: the lens. Transparency and lighting effects are complemented by the calming minimalism of contemporary “Japanease” style. Inspired by Japanese screens, white wall cladding backlit with floor-to-ceiling LEDs uses illumination to create patterns without adding additional materials or colours while also emphasising the entrance’s soaring height.

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©Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Taking two years and three mock-ups to design, the huge bespoke chandelier features custom 3D-printed light reflectors, with each diode inside the 1,568 lens-shaped Murano glass baubles individually programmable to twinkle in coordination with photographs and music for different events and moods, including the sequences ‘breathing’, ‘heartbeat’, ‘pulse’, ‘activation’ and ‘chill’. The interactive lighting evokes emotional responses to calm or energise visitors.

These glints reflect off the curved, iridescent blue glass wall of the mezzanine level’s Medical Showroom displaying state-of-the-art medical innovations. Inside the presentation area, the ceiling is made entirely from illuminated panels. Adjustable, full-colour LED light strips along the exterior top and bottom edges of the glass enclosures enable the precisely correct shade of blue to be displayed at different times of day.

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©Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Open to the public, a streamlined café with dining tables and a sunken lounge uses circular lighting elements as decorative features.

Hospitality-inspired office ‘worlds’ incorporate imaginative illumination solutions along with layouts, equipment and functions developed with employee input. LEVEL 4 suggests early computer games and invites colleagues to play and work; MARITIME references the city’s relaxing nautical locale; NATURE offers a relaxing green setting to meet and unwind; and WANDERLUST alludes to the company’s many global locations and inspires multicultural cooperation.

‘Neighbourhoods’ on varying floors include think-tank spaces and ‘coffee corners’ connected with ‘creative corners’ with markerboards for capturing the free-flowing ideas that lead to innovation during spontaneous brainstorming sessions. These areas also include nap pods, phone boxes and height-adjustable desks.

The 10th floor’s sky lounge features meeting areas and a futuristic-looking conference room whose ceiling has a backlit, recessed oval ‘oculus’ mirroring the table shape and the lens motif. A timber-clad restaurant, a gym and a rooftop terrace with 360° views complete the hospitable setting.