Visionary concepts and excellence for over 60 years

We have been a major influence on building organisation and working environments since 1956. And since the legendary „office landscape“ of the 70s, we have been setting international standards in the working world. combine is the symbiosis of the two leading consulting companies Quickborner Team and macon, and has continued growing their visionary roots since 2015.

The Quickborner Team and the office landscape

In the beginning there was a table: simple, but combined with a novel registration system that was manufactured in the 50s at the Velox factory that belonged to one Hermann Schnelle. But whenever Schnelle and his colleagues delivered their furniture, they noticed one thing: practical furniture wasn’t enough.

In order to create better workplaces, the office and working processes needed to be organised better. Schnelle’s sons Eberhard and Wolfgang took up the cause and, together with sales consultant Hermann Dunst, founded the „Velox-Organisation Hermann Dunst GmbH“, which commenced operations on the Hochallee in Hamburg in 1956.

Schwarz-Weiß-Bild mit Eberhad und Wolfgang Schnelle und Hermann Dunst

„The internal and external shape of the office building only became a problem in Germany after the last war. Up to that point, office buildings were built with very similar internal structures based on static and hierarchical ideals.“
Eberhard Schnelle, co-founder of Quickborner Team, 1963

The birth of the office landscape

The company’s first consulting project already attracted tremendous attention. In 1960, the young planning team developed a flexible open-plan office for the new administration building of the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Mannheim that was designed as a varied landscape, and so was christened the „office landscape“. The method quickly became a school and was imitated all over the Western world.

In 1962, the fast-growing company moved to Quickborn in Schleswig-Holstein, where the Schnelles had pavilion-style terraced houses built for the planning office and as accommodation for staff.
From 1966, the company was officially called the „Quickborner Team Gesellschaft für Planung und Organisation mbH“.

Expansion into the USA

The company’s well-known clients at the time included Bertelsmann AG, Osram, Orenstein & Koppel and BASF. From the mid-1960s, the Quickborner Team exported its revolutionary concepts of the office landscape far beyond the country’s borders. In the USA, the planners dubbed „The German Radicals“ by the New York Times, made their début in 1967 with their designs for the office landscape at DuPont de Nemours & Co.

„They are the colourful eminence of the grey economic and administrative colossus“
DIE ZEIT weekly newspaper on the Quickborner Team in the mid-1960s

Zwei Personen aus dem Quickborner Team am Tisch

This was followed by the opening of a US branch in Millburn, NJ and orders for Eastman Kodak in Rochester, the Mercedes Benz headquarters in New York and a new building for Washington’s Department of Labor. Orders from Sweden, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Venezuela followed. The planners received the ultimate accolade with the commission for a new building for the Washington Department of Labor.

The Quickborner Team promoted humanisation of the working environment, a workplace design that went far beyond the arrangement of walls and office facilities, by first capturing process sequences and the development of a company along with the wishes and needs of its employees, and then designing individual working environments on the basis of this knowledge.

„The Quickborner Team is (…) one of the few internationally vibrant contributions made by German architecture after WWII“
Die Architekturzeitschrift, 2007

Metaplan and other major commissions

The early 1970s saw the next prestigious commission in the optimisation of the office organisation and processes at the Federal Chancellery. This project used Metaplan, a method developed by the Quickborner Team for the moderation of decision-making  processes. Later, the Schnelles and Hermann Dunst turned it into their own consulting company.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the Quickborner Team was involved in the German government’s relocation from Bonn to Berlin. With new construction projects for VR Leasing in Eschborn and Boehringer in Ingelheim, the QT dedicated itself at that time to the further development of a new office organisation principle – the combined office, which teamed individual workstations in small rooms with a multifunctional communication zone.

Other important new construction projects were the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt and the Print Media Academy of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.

Another milestone in the development of new working environments came after the turn of the millennium, the cross-site flexible office concept, for instance for Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Orenstein & Koppel Ag, Dortmund

Efficient real estate consulting by macon

Since its foundation in 1998, macon stood for efficiency born out of the idea of focusing on the interplay between the client’s successful business model and the optimum real estate management in the real estate industry. Thus macon always followed the goal of achieving measurable efficiency by reducing costs, improving communication and harmonising togetherness – against the background of a holistic knowledge of the future of work, industry developments, innovative technologies and new workplace concepts.

Within 16 years, macon had developed from being a small owner-managed consulting company into one of the relevant players in the German-speaking segment of real estate consulting. With locations in Hamburg, Essen and Munich and more than 30 professionals, the management consultancy worked nationally and on an interdisciplinary basis.

In recent years, macon had been able to provide advice and assistance to decision-makers on the life cycles of individual properties. As a result, it was able to develop and carry out numerous concepts based on promising strategies that were then confirmed in the income statement.

The focus of the consulting services was on location strategies, building concepts and innovative work and organisation solutions for the future.

The best of two worlds: the merger

macon and the Quickborner Team joined forces in 2015. The merger of two of the most renowned consulting firms in the German real estate industry combined almost eight decades of consulting experience and a successful history in a single company.


The right location for your company

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The best building for your success

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Combining functionality and design

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Shaping the future of work

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From Quickborner Team and macon to combine: our history

We can look back on many years‘ experience in the development of modern office landscapes: for more than 60 years, combine and its predecessors have shaped the idea of forward-looking working environments.