In the beginning of 2022, DFSD got a new place to dock, as the company's state-of-the-art headquarters opened its doors in Copenhagen's Nordhavn. PLH Arkitekter has designed the unique signature building, which is tailored to give the shipping giant’s employees a workday full of flexibility, inspiration and choice.
Now, the building is one of five nominated for Nohrcon's award “Office Building of the Year 2023”. In the judges' nomination, it says among other things:
"Architectural wonder, constructural genius, fantastic to design and build a new domicile envisioned as one of their own ships. Here, employees have the best basis for thriving all the way around. A house that to a rare extent tells the story of the company behind the walls."
The DFDS identity
The headquarters is designed based on DFDS' identity and DNA. The sleek building stretches along the quay opposite the company's own ferry terminal, and stands out, with its undulating movements and large glass surfaces, in respectful harmony with the maritime surroundings.
Inside, the building is inspired by the company's passenger ferries. Thus, common areas such as the canteen, auditorium, and meeting rooms are located at the top, just like on DFDS’ ships, making sure that the journey through the house constantly leads to new, exciting destinations.
The workplace of the future
With the building, PLH Arkitekter has supported DFDS' vision of an activity-based and agile work environment. The fixed office layout with designated seats and isolated departments are a thing of the past. Instead, a dynamic workspace has been created around free seating and differently arranged zones that the individual employee can choose from depending on work tasks.
The building's inherent flexibility is also witnessed by a double-height auditorium that has been created as an innovative multi-room. The auditorium can be used for lectures, events, employee events, etc. but also transformed into a fitness area that can serve as a badminton court, yoga studio etc.
Focus on sustainability
Sustainability – economically, environmentally and socially – has been a key factor throughout the design and construction phase, resulting in DGNB Gold certification from the Council for Sustainable Building.
Among the building’s defining aspects are the slim concrete construction and lightweight facade, which have helped reduce CO2 emissions. Energy consumption has also been minimized, and floors and carpets have been specially selected so as to allow for recycling.
Finally, social considerations have been decisive, and choices have been made everywhere to ensure job satisfaction, well-being and employee health. The workstations are bright and airy, there is a fitness room in the basement, multi-rooms on top and common areas provide opportunities for social events and gatherings. Furthermore, at the ground floor, there is a café that can be opened to the public.
Several award-winning buildings
PLH Arkitekter is one of Denmark's largest independent architectural studios and has designed several award-winning buildings.
Among recent projects, the new headquarters for DLG, Europe's largest agriculture and energy company, in Fredericia, won Nohrcon's award for "Office Building of the Year 2021".
DFDS' headquarters has already gained recognition from around the world. International architectural media Archello has named the building "Best of 2022", while ArchDaily has just nominated it for the "Building of the Year 2023" in the office building category.