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Erste Group Moves to New Headquarters at Erste Campus

Published: February 11, 2016; 15:00 · (FriedlNews)

At the beginning of this year Erste Group started moving into its new headquarters at Erste Campus located in the new district of Quartier Belvedere, built on the former site of the Südbahnhof train station.

Erste Group moves to new headquarters at Erste Campus / Picture: © Erste Group / Christian Wind

“It is obvious that banking has to change – to modernise. This is one of the reasons why we are moving out of our traditional offices to a place that shows we are accessible and open to everyone. This is more than just a modern office building: it is about creating a space that serves the evolving needs of our staff and the community. Here we will be able to respond quicker, be more flexible and much more in tune with what our customers actually need,” said Andreas Treichl, CEO of Erste Group.

- 25,000 m² of open, flowing architecture in Quartier Belvedere heralds new Erste way of serving customers
- 4,500 employees come together under one roof for the first time – shift to wall-less space will enable collaborative work culture
- Historically symbolic location on the former site of Vienna’s Südbahnhof makes Erste Campus a gateway to Central and Eastern Europe

With a surface area of 25,000 m² and a gross usable floor space of 165,000 m², Erste Campus stands out through its open, flowing architecture that fits smoothly into the historic and natural spatial context of the city. The ground floor areas are open to the public and the variety of places to eat and drink (restaurants and cafes) ensures that the Campus is different from the usual hermetic design of bank headquarters. The Campus also houses Europe’s largest financial education initiative, the “Financial Life Park” (FLiP). On over 1,400 square metres, students will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of finance for their personal life and the role that banks fulfil in the economy in an interactive, game-like setting.

The new headquarters was designed by Henke Schreieck Architects. “The vision for Erste Campus was to create a place that fosters company loyalty, with a transparent design that is open towards the city and fits smoothly into its surroundings. The Campus also livens up and upgrades the district and offers the best possible workplace for all employees,” said Marta Schreieck of Henke Schreieck Architects.

New office concept for new corporate culture and historic symbolism With a total area of 40,000 m², the Campus symbolizes the new corporate culture: the central location for around 4500 employees of Erste Holding, Erste Bank Oesterreich and its subsidiaries in Austria who, for the first time in the history of the company, will be gathered together under one roof. “We asked ourselves: what is the best environment we can create for our people to freely interact, team up across business areas and spark new ideas together? We have even involved our staff actively in the design process. So we are happy that the Campus, with its wall-less open plan layout and inviting meeting spaces is a place where staff, customers and everyone who wishes to shape the future with us can come together,” explained Treichl.

Currently, Erste Group is distributed across more than 20 different locations in Vienna. By mid-2016, all the employees will have moved to the new premises in four waves. During construction there were no delays and no overdrawing of the budget. Construction costs were approximately EUR 300 million and stayed below the target. The Campus will reduce overhead costs by approximately 20%. Erste Group Immorent AG, the Erste Group specialist for real estate and infrastructure financing, served as project developer and building contractor. During construction, orders were contracted out to approximately 1000 companies.

The new venue on the former site of Vienna’s Südbahnhof (Ostbahn), which was the train station for southbound and eastern-bound trains, carries historic symbolism - it was the most important hub that connected Austria with Central and Eastern European countries.

The selection of the location has a clear strategic element for Andreas Treichl: “As a leading bank in Central and Eastern Europe, we are now also oriented geographically towards these countries with our new headquarters. At the same time, we remain true to our roots as a traditional Austrian savings bank.”

Sustainability at Erste Campus Even for the construction work, Erste Group relied 100% on green electricity.

The Austrian Association for Sustainable Real Estate Management (ÖGNI) awarded the Erste Campus with the “Platin” certification in December 2012.