Copenhagen, Denmark

Shipshape Sustainability in an Inviting Office Environment

In March 2022, shipping and logistics company DFDS opened its newly rebuilt headquarters. The project considered sustainability throughout every aspect, from the architecture and design to how it serves business needs and individual preferences.

Sustainability at DFDS

DFDS is a Danish international shipping and logistics company dating from 1866. When the time came to update the headquarters, sustainability lay at the heart of the project, together with a human-centric design focus. The company sought to revitalise the working culture to reflect modern preferences while futureproofing the company for growth in an environmentally responsible manner. The building's construction was designed for the DGNB System Gold Standard award – the global benchmark for sustainability, and the new design completely transformed the standard of workplace comfort and appeal for employees and prospective talent.

DFDS put sustainability at the heart of every building decision. The reasoning being that it's good for the planet, and it's inspiring for the people working at DFDS to know they are part of a positive change for the better.

An interesting initiative was DFDS's reuse of over 200 Series 7™ chairs, which are at least ten years old, from the previous headquarters. Their strength, ageless style and durability meant that reusing them made perfect practical sense while bringing a sense of continuity to the employees in their new environment.

Human-centric design

There is a palpable sense of coherence throughout the entire building. The long corridors are curved as the building itself curves, much like the company's ships that dock mere metres away. It creates a powerful connection for the office workers to see the outcome of their contributions through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Even the internal language of the building connects to their purpose: the offices' floors are referred to as "decks".

Acoustic panelling throughout the building dampens ambient noise to a pleasant level for the 400 people working there. And with space for up to 550, the office is prepared for growth. "People don't work in any one way," says Steffen Conradsen, Head of Facility Management & Global Director of Health & Safety, "people's needs are different, so we created a range of different spaces and work zones for people to find the way that best suits their preferences. In this way, whatever setting you need to be productive is catered for." In the construction of the new headquarters, DFDS created an inviting space where people are encouraged through beauty and functionality to enjoy an office they are proud of and feel productive in, no matter their individual working style.


"The task was to create a coherent house that offers experiences and plenty of inspiring and varied work environments." Anna-Carin Andersson, Interior Architect. The overall concept set by the interior design team would tie all of DFDS' business areas together. The concept chosen is based on a weather theme, because whether driving a truck, sailing on the ferry, or transporting goods, weather is always a factor.

"We built the weather theme around DFDS's basic shapes, such as the circle (wheel), the composite engine room and, for example, clouds and raindrops,"

says Interior Architect Anne Heinsvig, "that's why the Drop™ chair fit in perfectly.
Sustainability was also an important factor, so all furniture and materials have been chosen based on their sustainability profile." Throughout the decks, different spaces facilitate different types of work or interaction. Quiet lounge corners with Ro™ and Fri™ lounge chairs and views to the sea for retreat and rest; colour-coded social seating areas with the reused Series 7™ chairs corresponding to the red, blue and grey-green tiled coffee stations on each deck; soft sofa seating near desk working areas; small meeting rooms with low tables; a large conference room with state-of-the-art technology, large table stretching the length of the room, and Little Giraffe™ chairs by Arne Jacobsen adding to the gravitas of the space with an iconic design. The project succeeded in integrating a new, more technology-focused modern culture with a more traditional way of working. DFDS's goal was to create an office that attracted people to the office by making it highly functional, comfortable, inviting and beautiful. They paid attention to every aspect of the human experience, from sound to light to comfort and preferred ways of working.

Fritz Hansen and Sustainability

Our veneer chairs (Series 7™, Ant™, Grand Prix™) are made to last for life. Therefore Fritz Hansen offers the possibility to refresh the colour or finish to allow a chair’s expression to evolve and complement its surroundings at any stage of its life. To find out more about updating Fritz Hansen pieces, product specifications, project collaboration, and more, contact our Sales Support department at sales@fritzhansen.com. (Europe only)