Functional Office and Training Center for MAN Energy Solutions
INTERVIEW WITH MIKAEL ADLER, MAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS
MAN Energy Solutions has been leading the way in advanced engineering for more than 260 years with a unique portfolio of technologies. MAN Energy Solutions enables its customers to achieve sustainable value creation in the transition towards a carbon-neutral future. When the company decided to create a new office including a training center (‘MAN PrimeServ Academy’) to better reflect the special needs, mission and vision of the company, VIRTUARCH was the first choice. We talked with Mikael Adler about his view on the design project.
How did you get in contact with VIRTUARCH?
Mikael Adler: Actually, our previous CEO knew VIRTUARCH and was convinced of their quality in designing and managing projects like ours. So, we had a first talk. For this project we invited three architecture companies to give us their thoughts on how they understand us as a company and how they would approach our task.
Why did you decide to do the project with VIRTUARCH?
Mikael Adler: VIRTUARCH was the best match. We felt, they understood what we needed. We sent them our rules and guidelines. We needed new office space on the 7th and 8th floor and for our academy a training center plus exhibition hall on the first floor. We already had a good feeling from our initial talks. The ideas they presented just confirmed our first impression.
Reception of the MAN PrimeServ Academy
Why did you decide to design a new office and an academy?
Mikael Adler: Two things: First, maybe as you know we changed our name from MAN Diesel & Turbo to MAN Energy Solutions, because we changed our focus. Sustainability towards a carbon-neutral future is our goal. We felt we would need an office reflecting our philosophy. Second, we simply needed new space for our academy. We needed a functional space equipped with the latest technology.
What did you expect from the new office and from the academy, what did you expect from VIRTUARCH?
Mikael Adler: For the academy, as just mentioned, we needed a smart solution for using the space in the academy in the best way. It should be a training room, space for presentations and an area to relax at the same time. For example, the area should be used for a training, say for around 25 people, but also give us the opportunity to organize events with more than 100 people. VIRTUARCH came up with really smart ideas. Our request for the office space was also clear: We needed more meeting rooms, but also more open spaces for people to meet. Efficiency was a main consideration for us.
Training room in MAN PrimeServ Academy
Meeting Room on office floor
What do you like most about the new office and the academy?
Mikael Adler: The whole office area is quite bright. The atmosphere is excellent. 70 percent of the light is shining upwards and reflecting to the office. The advantage is that the light is more uniform, avoiding glare problems. In order to make it more convenient for employees and visitors to meet, meeting rooms of different sizes are designed both in the lobby and office area. The entrance as I perceive it, is inviting and representative in the way we feel very comfortable with: it is elegant but simple at the same time. In the academy we have an automatic telescopic seating system and two rooms that can be merged into one big room and vice versa. That is very practical. The design tone of exhibition hall and training center is white and gray, bright and open, with simple and smooth lines. The design of vertical line creates a sense of technology-based heavy industry enterprise.
Meeting room of different sizes
Smooth lines create a sense of technology-based heavy industry enterprise
How has the new office and the academy affected your work?
Mikael Adler: In the new office space we can have meetings in different sections and also find spaces to rest or just have informal conversations. The whole atmosphere is different now, we feel it inspiring and my perception is also that we work more efficiently than before. The whole working environment is arranged in such a natural way that things just seem to flow.
Inspiring new working spaces
How did VIRTUARCH’s team manage your office and academy decoration project?
Mikael Adler: They supported us in an excellent way throughout the complete process. Right from the start, the experts from VIRTUARCH came up with many new ideas, gave us advise and always double checked with what we wanted and how we felt with certain plans. The team of VIRTUARCH really invested a lot of time to deliver us not just good solutions, but solutions we were absolutely happy with. That was a brilliant experience, I must say. Also, the response time of VIRTUARCH was very good. Especially in China this is highly appreciated. Overall, the project went smoothly in all stages thanks to the dedication of VIRTUARCH.
Would you work with VIRTUARCH again?
Mikael Adler: Absolutely yes. We also recommend VIRTUARCH to our partners who are in similar situations like we have been in.
PROJECT NAME: MAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS SHANGHAI OFFICE AND ACADEMY
CLIENT: MAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS
INDUSTRY SECTOR: OFFICE AND TRAINING CENTER
PROJECT SIZE: 4,500 sqm
PROJECT DATE: 2019/2020
SERVICES: INTERIOR DESIGN
Mikael Adler is born in Sweden and lived in Belgium and Norway before he moved to Shanghai in 2017 as Head of Region Asia Pacific, Turbomachinery at MAN. Since July 2020 he is the Head of Asia Pacific plus Managing Director in China being responsible for all company businesses (Marine / Turbo / Power) with around 1,200 employees.