Air, water, sound, light, nourishment, fitness and comfort. These are the seven key ingredients of the Eminent office building, which was designed to be certified according to the sustainable WELL standard.
Among other things, the offices boast locally produced food which is partly grown on the roof terrace, art and design to entice people to take the stairs, well-equipped underground bicycle parking, a nearby fitness centre, light therapy and stress-relieving music. They are all elements which are seldom allowed to weigh as heavily on the drawing board as much as the factors which are traditionally known to promote a healthy working environment and indoor climate.
Kanozi Architects are the designers behind Eminent, and architect SAR/MSA Åsa Jentsch says about the project:
“The WELL certification incorporates softer values which are very much in line with what we as architects wish to bring to our projects. By working with WELL throughout the design process, we created a new framework for talking about things like natural lighting, a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor environments and sculptural, prominent stairs. The entire team of architects, engineers, contractors and developers suddenly started discussing and appreciating the human aspects of the building and its design.”
Points for aesthetics and healthy materials
Human health and well-being are the focal points of the WELL scheme, which is administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Parameters such as air, water, sound, light, nourishment and fitness all play an important role in the certification.
In 2019, Ramboll documented how the aesthetics of Troldtekt’s acoustic panels earn points in the WELL system, which also awards points for the fact that Troldtekt is a Cradle to Cradle-certified product.
“WELL is a tool to promote health and well-being in buildings globally. The individual products in the buildings have a major impact on these aspects, which is why documentation on a wide range of aspects is needed more than ever. Troldtekt is an excellent example of a responsible producer that takes ownership of its responsibility in a comprehensive manner,” says Anna Bergman, WELL Accredited Professional and Expert Project Manager at Ramboll Sweden.
Welcoming ground floor
The team behind Eminent focused, for example, on how the materials and acoustic environment affect the experience of entering the building. They chose a wide palette of materials to provide visual variation, and a common denominator in choosing them was tactile surfaces and density. In the so-called coffice, Troldtekt acoustic ceilings have been installed.
Coffice is that part of the open and spacious ground floor where Eminent invites the world inside. Here, anyone can stop by for a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the café area – a half coffee shop and half office – whether they are visiting the offices on business or just happen to be passing by the building.
“Eminent embraces its surroundings, and invites everyone to explore interior spaces and elements inside the building. We have very deliberately created a transparent and inviting ground floor to make the large building a pleasant sanctuary in the cityscape,” says Åsa Jentsch.
Acoustics and well-being
Åsa Jentsch emphasises the acoustic environment as an important aspect of the user and visitor experience at Eminent.
“A healthy acoustic environment helps to create a good first impression. And a tranquil atmosphere is essential for those working in Eminent as it makes it so much easier to concentrate. The WELL guidebook provides tools to help create a healthy soundscape, so it is definitely something we have worked consciously with,” says Åsa Jentsch.
“The philosophy is that it affects people positively if they don’t have to process unwanted information reaching them through sound while working and socialising. In this context, Troldtekt contributes to the acoustic environment, but being made of wood, the acoustic panels also add a nostalgic dimension in a Swedish context,” she continues.
Eminent is located in Hyllie between Malmö in Sweden and the Øresund Bridge. It is the first WELL-certified building in the Nordic region. The office building is also gold-certified by the Sweden Green Building Council, which is the highest environmental class for buildings in Sweden.