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Merck HQ

SHUFFLE creates outdoor workspaces that serve the needs of the skilled staff at this innovation centre

Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. To mark the company’s 350th anniversary in 2018, the company built a new innovation centre at its headquarters in Darmstadt.

The centre was designed to motivate all employees to work together across disciplines, teams or business sectors and come up with new, disruptive ideas that could grow and to become viable businesses beyond the company’s existing scope.

Flexible, functional and inspiring spaces were created to encourage “thinking outside the box” and enable researchers and external partners to work together on interdisciplinary projects.

A special focus was also placed on the outdoor spaces – especially the newly built Emanuel Merck Platz – to foster social interactions, which are known to enhance the success of any business working in research and development.
Continuity of design 

It was vital that the outdoor living spaces create the right context for employees to take activities or brainstorming sessions outside, beyond the daily routine, or to simply retreat, relax or think.

The management wanted an innovative outdoor lighting concept that would aesthetically integrate with the unique architecture, continuing the contemporary ambiance and embrace the innovation and core values of the brand.

The SHUFFLE was ideal. Its pure design harmoniously blends into the modern environment while delivering a range of services. For this smart pole not only delivers light but also incorporates a control system, WiFi, security cameras, loudspeakers and an EV charging station.

By placing all the devices in one pole, the SHUFFLE enables an open, fluid space where people and creative juices can easily flow.

A campus for people 

A total of 70 SHUFFLE smart poles were installed on Emanuel-Merck Platz and throughout the campus in 2017. They create a safe space designed for the user’s well-being and maximise social interactions, even in the hours of darkness.

Employees particularly appreciate the bright white light which ensures perfect visibility so they can appreciate the setting. The CCTV heightens the sense of security.
They also enjoy the free WiFi which enables them to stay connectedcommunicate and share ideas, just as they would indoors.

The loudspeakers provide clear, understand announcements and the ability to play background music, adapted to the occasion while EV chargers enable employees and visitors to charge their cars.


This efficient and enjoyable outdoor space creates an ideal environment for the teams to interact and operate with a highly collaborative approach which is considered essential for an innovation mindset.