Design: steininger.designers, Photo: Catherine Roider, Text: Barbara Jahn-Rösel

At the highest level

Time for change. Linz-based company Almi was looking for uncompromising exclusivity and a spacious look and feel for its new head office design. STEININGER designers & architects realised the client's demanding concept down to the smallest detail.

Sankt Martin im Mühlkreis, 18.09.2023.

Lay : Hörsching / Linz
Land Area : 90m²
Apartments : Office

A successful manufacturer of spice blends with a global reach operating from its base in Hörsching near Linz in Upper Austria, Almi has always placed great emphasis on presenting a prestigious external image. Following a generational change in the company’s management passing from father to son, the next major step was to extend and remodel the company’s head office building, including an expansion and outfitting of the top management floor which is at the highest level in every respect.

Three plus

steininger.architects ZT GmbH was contracted to carry out the planning and interior design, taking on responsibility for the architecture of the extension – from the preliminary drafts to overseeing the on-site construction works – as well as the overall design of the facility.

The mission was to add a new element to the typical 1990s industrial building – which had already been extended several times in the past – that would integrate harmoniously into the existing site while at the same time standing out from it. What has been created is a striking black cube on a flat roof which, with its spacious terrace, has the exterior look of a modern conference hotel. In addition, the third floor was completely gutted, refurbished and redefined to fit with the extension. Total office space of more than 300 square metres was fitted out, including the top management suite, as well as offices for the secretarial staff and personal assistants.

Design brief

It was the explicit wish of the latest-generation company supremo that the new third-floor complex, intended as a space for receiving customers and suppliers, should exceed all expectations. And it certainly does. Right from the reception area, contrasts between light and dark are used to great effect: A quite dark carpet is matched with light-coloured ceilings and wall panelling made of light whitewashed oak, which runs as a design thread throughout the interior. The ambience here is one of elegant minimalism combined with appealing colour saturation. The company’s bright red logo has even been omitted, so as not to interrupt the gentle colour flow. Instead, visitors are greeted by a map of the world in classic black and white. From the reception, one direction leads to a separate, light-flooded meeting room, while in the other are the executive offices: all clad in light-coloured wood, with mottled carpeting and white ceilings.

Prestige on show

At the end of the corridor is the real centrepiece of the new extension. Covering a space of more than 90 square metres, and six metres high, the managing director's office incorporates not only the customary workspace but also lounge and meeting zones, as well as a built-in kitchen concealed behind cupboard fronts. The contrasting theme here is reversed, attaining a new climactic highpoint: The dark ceiling and built-in furniture elements contrast with the light-coloured moveable furniture and extensive light whitewashed oak wall panelling. The predominant wood in the room is countered by the carpeting and broken up by precisely placed black steel niches, which provide space for accessories, important documents or other items, and underscore the colour contrasting. The niche design is continued through into the adjacent offices of the other top management executives. The oval black glass conference table is a particularly imposing feature, and its effect is made even more striking by the large-diameter ring-shaped pendant lights made of burnished brass suspended above it. The decorative lighting is complemented with basic technical lighting by fixed spots – including the facility to add more – as well as LED strips, and indirect lighting which also incorporates the air conditioning.

Clever detailling

The holistic styling of Almi’s new head office design reflects the single-source planning and execution of the project. In fact, STEININGER's in-house furniture workshop also made all the custom design elements and furnishings. This included the custom-made reception desk with its glass inlay, and the large wall panelling with built-in cupboards. The required high degree of sound insulation posed a particular challenge. Consequently, the wall panelling and all the interior doors were fabricated to a custom design specification. The perfectly integrated black steel niches are indirectly lit. The kitchen concealed behind the wall panelling is a combination of STEININGER’s WALL and WALL BASE designs. The desks in the executive offices are also custom builds, based on the STEININGER BLOCK kitchen concept, featuring two blocks turned towards each other with a frame leg.


“With this project we have launched Almi into a new era. The benchmark was set very high: An exclusive design, very high-quality materials, but also a concept that is unique in its contrasts and the precision of its detailing.” Architect Harry Ahmadian, Managing director and partner, Steininger Architects ZT GmbH