20 years of corpo two – from the founding idea until today and with a look toward the future
A conversation between Jürgen Michalski from Realgestalt and the partners from corpo two, Marco Witte, Matthias Klatt, René Kissel and Yann Hervé
Jürgen Michalski: “What drove you to establish the company 20 years ago?”
Marco Witte: “We asked ourselves how we could seamlessly support the projects we had carried out, including during the warranty phase. At a time when our respective project managers at WITTE Projektmanagement and GKK were already entrusted with new, interesting tasks and the users as well as the owners of the properties were, and should be, entitled to receive dedicated support.”
Matthias Klatt: “The idea was to put together a team to concentrate on supervising the projects we had carried out during the operating phase. In addition to better service for our clients, we also hoped to gain expertise from the operating phase, in order to be able to optimise projects that were already in the planning phase.”
“What were the founders thinking with the company name?”
René Kissel: “We actually get that question often. The name comes from the “cooperation” (or corporation) of two companies (initiator companies Witte Projektmanagement and GKK Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH).”
Yann Hervé: “Many of our clients and partners believe that the name comes from our close interlinking of architecture and technical building services. I won’t contradict them, but of course then I tell them what it actually was.”
And what do the founders say about what corpo two has become in these 20 years?
Marco Witte: “The original idea did not come to fruition for many different reasons. Especially after we were able to bring Yann Hervé on in 2010, the company developed into a specialised planning, tendering and construction management office with expertise in improvements and technical building services. The clients appreciate this synergy. If I had to do a high-quality conversion of a 5,000 m² rental unit today with a short deadline, I would immediately do it with corpo two. This is an unforeseen development that we can thank Yann Hervé and his team for.”
Matthias Klatt: “Above all, the integration of building services and this kind of specialisation with tenant improvements and the revitalisation of existing properties are truly unique selling points that we are very happy about.”
René Kissel: “corpo two has become a very fast-reacting, flexible company with a powerful interdisciplinary team that has grown robustly over time. The pace that this team can achieve in overcoming obstacles in the service of the client is something I have not seen in any other comparable company in the industry. And on top of that, in spite of having around 50 employees in four locations, our extremely experienced management team is still able to be close to the customer and the project. This helps preserve our ability to identify with the goals of the project and to maintain our own fundamental quality standards across all the specialist disciplines.”
Yann Hervé: “I’m not actually one of the founders since I only came on board in 2010, but I can say that I am very proud to see what has become of the idea of unifying architecture and technical building services in one office. And what especially pleases me, besides the development of the company, is to see how the entire team has grown over the years and made the company into what it is now. Many people here have continually expanded their own limits and experienced fantastic professional as well as personal development. To me, the prospects for the future of corpo two are brilliant.”
What can corpo two do especially well, perhaps even better than most?
Yann Hervé: “Our clients appreciate our ‘worry-free’ package and the special expertise of many of our specialists and all-rounders, which also means that we can keep all of our services in focus. Specifically in the realms of tenant improvements and revitalisation projects, these are decisive advantages to make the projects successful.”
In all modesty, what makes corpo two unique?
Yann Hervé: “I always like to get to the heart of that with our motto – Architecture & Technical Building Services Hand in Hand – and that is with a very special team that loves complex tasks, asks the right questions, goes into detailed analysis, finds innovative, often unusual solutions, is always thinking of the next step and never loses sight of the whole picture.”
And in 20 years we will be speaking about…
Marco Witte: “In 20 years, the company will be so established and continuing to provide flawless service with contemporary tools that we will be able to choose our own jobs. The demand for these services will continue to grow, whereas the professional services will most likely not keep pace.”
Matthias Klatt: “The good old days when there were still craftsmen and engineers. Before massive 3D printers could scan the tenants’ minds and immediately implement their wishes.”
René Kissel: “…who really wants to predict that these days? But I think we will be pleased to find that the management crew working carefully but also quickly by then will have maintained our current fundamentals, such as quality and dependability, and will have continued to lead a successful, future-oriented company while adapting to the changes in the industry.”
Yann Hervé: “Great question… that corpo two continued to developed dynamically and our younger generation continued on that path happily and successfully.”