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Circular Office

Urselmann Interior renovates own office using recycled and biodegradable materials

Düsseldorf studio Urselmann Interior has renovated its own office interiors using biodegradable, recycled or upcycled materials, including glueless joinery and a cellulose-based wall cladding.

The interior design studio said that it renovated its self-described "circular" office in the German city to only feature materials that are either recycled, upcycled or biodegradable.

Urselmann Interior office
Urselmann Interior's office is in Düsseldorf

These include existing wooden and terrazzo flooring that was salvaged during the renovation, as well as heaters obtained from resource-efficient building material platform Concular.

Spread over one main workspace, a kitchen and a meeting room, the single-level office features clay paint walls and is designed to be used as both a co-working space and a showroom.

Kitchen in office
The renovation includes a kitchen

"The office also serves us as a laboratory in that we can [use it to] test new qualities, materials and construction methods," project manager Liz Theißen told Dezeen.

A solid wooden frame was used to create simple kitchen cabinets, which were constructed without glue so that the structure is fully demountable.

Urselmann Interior kitchen
Joinery was created without glue in much of the project

The frame was fitted with panels formed from recycled strips of fabric supplied by textile brand Kvadrat from its Really collection.

For its walls, the studio used Honext wall cladding – a cellulose-based material that is produced using paper sludge and cardboard waste.

Poplar wood from a tree felled in the nearby city of Krefeld was chosen for the ceiling, which was also assembled without glue.

Throughout the office, neutral and minimal colour and material palettes were applied to the interior design, which also includes clusters of carefully arranged potted plants and books.

Second-hand lighting encased in wiggly orange felt from Hey-Sign adds a splash of colour to the otherwise sandy-hued atmosphere.

Orange lighting in office
Wiggly orange lighting adds a splash of colour

Theißen explained that all of the components that Urselmann Interior used for the renovation have been listed in a published "material passport" that can be referred to for future projects.

"We want to develop a new design language for ourselves, in which we smartly combine high-quality materials such as solid wood with ecological building materials as well as reusable components [to achieve] a positive footprint in the construction industry," she said.

"Our design principles follow the school of thought of 'cradle to cradle', which is the safe and potentially infinite circulation of materials and nutrients in cycles."

"All constituents are chemically harmless and recyclable. We aim to eliminate the design flaw of waste in our processes," concluded Theißen.

Honext panels
Honext panels line the clay paint walls

Urselmann Interior is a Düsseldorf-based interiors studio founded by Sven Urselmann.

Similar projects to the studio's office renovation include a Madrid restaurant by Lucas Muñoz with furniture formed from site construction waste and a bar made out of recycled stereos, bottle crates and fridges by Michael Marriott.

The photography is by Magdalena Gruber

Project credits:

Design and build: Urselmann Interior
Founder and designer: Sven Urselmann
Designer: Petra Jablonická
Project manager: Liz Theißen

More images and plans

Floor plan
Floor plan
Circular Office
Circular Office
Circular Office
Circular Office
Circular Office
Circular Office
Circular Office
Circular Office