Architecture & Design, Manufacturing, and Real Estate

Furniture maker opens innovation center in Germany

November 13, 2017
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Steelcase Munich Learning + Innovation Center LINC
Courtesy Steelcase

A local office furniture maker has opened a European center for innovation to “propel global growth.”

Grand Rapids-based Steelcase said last week it opened a Learning + Innovation Center, or LINC, in Munich.

The center is designed to help employees and visitors interact and learn together.

“Creative work and innovation happen when trust is built. So, we designed a place where people could come together to build relationships, learn, fail and grow together,” said Jim Keane, president and CEO, Steelcase.

“We believe this is central to innovation, but it’s not just for us — it’s for our customers too. It gives them a place to experience real work as it’s happening and see how space can support and accelerate business results.”

LINC Munich houses more than 230 employees representing 25 nationalities from groups previously dispersed throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The center follows the opening of another LINC in Grand Rapids, which serves as a hub for North American employees, customers and guests to explore how creative and innovative thinking can be supported by physical space and technologies. 

Firms on the project

The 47,244-square-foot, three-building campus was designed by Munich-based Henn Architects, the Paris-based agencies Patrick Jouin and Jouin Manku and the Steelcase design team.

LINC Munich design

Steelcase's LINC Munich features a variety of elements and amenities: a centrally located WorkCafé with a coffee bar and baristas spread over two levels; executive team workspaces near the WorkCafé, on the first floor in an open-plan space; cloud-enabled technology throughout the campus; virtual reality tour for visitors that showcases global technologies and processes; an ecosystem of interconnected and integrated technology environments; multiple informal spaces throughout the center and several specialized classrooms; space for workshops designed to encourage self-discovery and learning.


Founded in 1912, Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) offers a portfolio of architectural, furniture and technology products and services designed to “unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability.” 

Steelcase sells through its family a brands: Steelcase; Coalesse; Designtex; PolyVision; Turnstone; and Workspring.

The global manufacturer has more than 800 dealer locations and reported fiscal 2017 revenue of $3 billion.

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