Bolzano, 24th January 2020 – A feel-good place: It is not only Markas that uses these words to describe its headquarters, which were integrally designed by ATP Innsbruck. The WELL Gold certification – the first to be awarded in Italy – is proof of the enormous feel-good quality of the office building.
"Each space was conceived with the conviction that an agreeable and familiar working environment has a powerful influence on employee satisfaction," said Christoph Kasslatter, CEO of Markas during the recent dedication ceremony for the building. "We unveil this place today with great pride. It is a place that allows our employees to work even better and to optimise and increase the efficiency of their organisational processes even further."
This successful outcome was achieved through a very conscious focus on the health and well-being of the people working in the building. "The special architecture of the Markas Tower – from the numerous green and leisure spaces to the highly flexible office areas with their spectacular views across the rooftops of Bolzano’s old town to the surrounding mountains – met most requirements for WELL certification, even during the design stage", says the architect Stefan Köll of ATP Innsbruck. "One wonderful example is the open stairs and voids, which link all the office levels, creating an attractive alternative circulation to the lifts. There are many ways in which the working environment benefits the building’s users," continues Köll. An intensively planted garden level and a pool of water that provides adiabatic cooling are central symbols of the recuperative and natural character of the building.
About the certification
Launched in 2014, the WELL Building Standard highlights the way in which buildings serve their users in terms of the quality of air, water, nutrition, light, fitness, comfort, and spiritual wellbeing. According to Köll, the requirements in these seven categories are diverse: "The certification involves values that we, as ATP’s integrated team of architects and structural and building services engineers, readily apply to our projects, because they focus on the users." For example, the criterion "air" addresses not only the quality of the input air but also the use of low-emission building materials and the hygienic standards of the ventilation plant. In addition to this, special requirements cover the quality of the natural and artificial lighting, which in this project was designed with the Company Bartenbach, the spatial acoustics, the ergonomics of the workplaces and, of course, the thermal comfort. Finally, special attention is paid to the incorporation of nature and planting and the overall aesthetic quality of the surroundings.
In order to ensure that this high quality is retained during the operational life of the building, the certification has to be repeated every three years.