Kinzo converts three floors of former Berlin
brewery into headquarters for Soundcloud

| 3 comments
 

Exposed brickwork and ceilings, themed rooms and a dedicated recording studio feature in the headquarters of audio platform Soundcloud, which have been created inside a former brewery in Berlin (+ slideshow).

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

German studio Kinzo converted three stories of Factory, an office campus for early stage technology startups that occupies a former industrial complex, into offices for audio streaming provider Soundcloud.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Located in Mitte and close to the former Berlin Wall, the offices house more than 200 employees and take up more than half of the campus area.



Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

"While Kinzo's design interventions retain the former factory's industrial charm, they also emphasise the location's characteristics to create just the right space for such a young and expanding business," said the designers.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

As well as providing practical work spaces for Soundcloud employees, the designers were asked to create a layout that would allow the offices to be used to host events including hackathons, talks, and meet-ups in an attempt to "foster collaboration" within Berlin's tech community.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Kinzo retained the original layout of the former brewery with its concrete columns, exposed concrete floor and rough brick walls.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

The studio inserted a series of glass-walled meeting rooms with blue neon signs spelling the names of areas in Berlin, London and New York including Kreuzberg, Flatiron, Brixton and Camden.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Another meeting room with wooden walls and a glazed entrance, named 'The Green Room', is stacked full of large plants with the intention of creating a green oasis inside the building.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

A dedicated recording room with extensive AV equipment provides a professional recording space for employees of the company, which runs an online platform for sharing music and other audio files.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Although the office space is mainly open-plan with long wooden tables positioned underneath large, chunky cork lampshades, a number of quieter and more secluded areas were designed for individual work.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Firewood is stacked along the wall of a space designed to feel like a living room with a wood fire and brightly coloured armchairs. A small, wooden clad library pod and a soundproof relaxation room with quilted booths provide more rest places for employees.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

A yellow painted games room features an old fashioned photo booth and ping pong table. Other objects including record players, potted plants and a collection of arm chairs and tables are scattered across the three levels.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Brightly coloured furniture and feature walls are also peppered throughout the space, while wiring and air conditioning ducts are left exposed on the ceilings.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Photography is by Christian Werner unless otherwise stated.

Here's some a project description from Kinzo:


New Soundcloud headquarter as a tangible reality of a virtual community, Berlin

The new headquarters of internationally renowned online platform SoundCloud cover three levels and approx. 4,000 square metres of an old brewery building close to the former Berlin Wall. The complex, designed to serve as a future incubator for up-and-coming start-ups, will become the one-stop office for all 180 Berlin employees of the foremost hub for musical exchange on the net. Anticipating future expansion of the rapidly growing SoundCloud platform, the spacious offices could potentially accommodate up to 350 desks.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

To provide the company and its new HQ with a matching spatial identity and the right architectural framework for the platform’s novel business and working structures, SoundCloud asked KINZO to turn its new hub into a space that exudes and encourages innovation and creativity.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

The platform envisaged a welcome beacon in Berlin’s office landscape that both shapes the company and evolves with SoundCloud over the years. Against this background, KINZO’s conversion redefines the rules of office design with its tangible reflection of a virtual community.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

While KINZO's design interventions retain the former factory’s industrial charm, they also emphasise the location’s characteristics to create just the right space for such a young and expanding business.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

From open work spaces and café-meets-reception area to various themed rooms – each space at the new SoundCloud HQ promotes flexible use scenarios and the platform's ingrained culture of constant creative exchange. Thanks to subtle accents and interventions, introduced according to need, the mood shifts from urban exchange to private retreat, from bustling public space to cosy living room.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

In order to preserve the location’s factory feel, KINZO decided to retain the brewery’s raw appeal, leaving the building's original brickwork and ceiling details exposed. Underscoring this aesthetic, all technical installations are clearly on display, snaking across the naked surfaces in an ornamental meets- functional pattern that juxtaposes old and new.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

The only substantial alteration to the structure’s original architecture can be found between the two lower-most levels: Here, a two-storey atrium and staircase now serves as the main hub of communication for the new SoundCloud universe. Versatile to the core, both space and fittings can adapt according to requirement – thanks to the flexible architecture, potential uses range from reception and bar to cinema, panel discussion and beyond.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

At the same time – and in line with the platform’s ultimate aim – sound (or acoustics) remain the red thread of KINZO’s overall design concept. A vital and oft-neglected aspect of any space, due to its functional, work-related and identity-defining significance, sound naturally takes pride of place in all SoundCloud-related considerations.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Here, KINZO once again experiments with further and playful uses to make the most of acoustic materials beyond their sound-optimising properties. Imbued with new life and meaning, they might resurface as cladding for the specially designed drop lights ("Krautleuchten") or as abstracted sound waves and light diffusors nesting underneath the ceilings of shared spaces. After all, KINZO likes to give all material dual starring roles.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

In this spirit, KINZO stays true to its holistic design approach with the SoundCloud HQ conversion and turns a heterogeneous use structure into a sound and cohesive concept. Drawing on their shared Berlin roots, the architects managed to supply the thriving start-up with just the right architectural foundations for future growth and (r)evolution.

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo

Responsible partner: Karim El-Ishmawi, Martin Jacobs,
Project leader: Timo Nerger
Cooperation: Manfred Kaiser, Laura Liberal, Stefanie Pesel, Ina Podzimek, David Schrumm, Susanne Trumpf, Nora Zimmermann
Specialist planners: Akustikbüro Rahe & Kraft GmbH (room acoustics), Dinnebier + Blieske (lightning design), Häfner Ingenieure GmbH (HCAC - heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
Components: Daniel Peters Möbelbau, Delafair GmbH, kubix Gesellschaft für Entwicklung und Produktion temporärer Bauten mbH, Zimmerservice Scheuerling + Neumann GbR
Building equipment: Cofely Deutschland GmbH (air-condition technology), Elektrotechnik Elaro GmbH

Soundcloud headquarters Berlin by Kinzo
Photograph of The Factory by Werner Huthmacher. Exterior architect: Julian Breinersdorfer
  • r2d2

    Why would you want your office to like Wallpaper magazine in 2001?

    • Captain Spanky and the Pancake

      I completely agree, this style of design is really dated. It screams look at us we are cool and individual when really it just looks like any other Google, Facebook, Yahoo or Bing office. To be fair there is some really nice and interesting spaces but it’s really just the same… yadda yadda yadda.

      This design is like watching an episode of friends from ten years ago when leather jackets were cool.

  • wibblewobble

    There is something off about these interiors and I can’t quite figure out what it is. Some of the rooms look elegantly finished whilst others just seem to miss the mark.