G DATA: Foundation stone laid for expansion in Bochum
German IT security pioneer buys head office site in Bochum and launches initial construction phase.
G DATA Software AG is proving its loyalty to its roots by planning to convert the 2.3 hectare plot of land that it has recently acquired at Königsallee 178 into the G DATA Campus. One century ago, on 25 June 1914, the foundation stone for the headquarters of consumer cooperative Wohlfahrt was laid on the site occupied by G DATA's company premises today. The Bochum company is using this event as an opportunity to leave a message for the future. Various objects from today's world, such as a mobile phone, have been buried in a time capsule. The intention is for this to be reopened by a future generation in 100 years' time, on 25 June 2114. The burial of the capsule also marks the start of the initial construction phase, which will include the transformation of 4,500 square metres of office space.
"The time capsule is the starting pistol for the redevelopment of the entire site at Königsallee 178. We wanted to leave behind a message for future generations. Each department has placed an object in the time capsule, including a Fairphone, a jar of G DATA honey, a book by Glenn Greenwald about the NSA and Snowden, and the cover of the first G DATA virus protection product, "AntiVirusKit for Atari", from 1987," explains G DATA company founder Kai Figge.
G DATA Headquarters being created
The initial building project will see building 178a, which has been under monument protection since 1990, converted into the future G DATA Headquarters over the coming years. The 1st and 2nd floors, covering 4,500 square metres, have already been cleared. The next stages of the conversion will be implemented later this year, so that the new office space will be ready for use in early 2015. G DATA Software AG has been based at Königsallee for over two decades.
The company currently employs over 360 staff at its head office in Bochum. With the expansion of the site, G DATA is expecting to double the number of employees in Bochum in the coming years.
Consumer cooperative Wohlfahrt has 38,000 members
The company premises stand on a site steeped in history. The site in Hunscheidtfeld was home to cooperative society Wohlfahrt for over five decades. The society was founded in 1912 and was taken over by consumer cooperative Dortmund-Hamm (later COOP Dortmund) in the 1960s. Between 1914 and 1916, a warehouse and factory were built here according to plans by Bochum architect Heinrich Schmiedeknecht, including a bakery, a roasting house, a butchery and a lemonade factory for some 11,000 members. In addition to the administration building, a block containing service accommodation was built in 1919, followed by a cooperative shop in 1927.
Through the incorporation of smaller societies, the cooperative society grew to almost 38,000 members in the 1920s, with 113 outlets in Bochum, Witten, Herne and Wanne-Eickel, where workers and townsfolk could buy food at low prices. After the Nazis rose to power, the cooperative society was integrated into the community of the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront), a decision that led to resistance. Multiple members were arrested by the police and mistreated. There is a memorial plaque to remember two men who were executed.
G DATA is looking for contemporary witnesses
To find out more about the company premises, G DATA is looking for former employees of the Wohlfahrt cooperative society to act as contemporary witnesses and provide information on their experiences, everyday working life and the conditions.
G DATA_time-capsule _1: The board members of G DATA Software AG sink the time capsule, from left: Andreas Lüning, Kai Figge and Frank Heisler. Photo: G DATA / Ingo Otto
G DATA_time-capsule_2: The date of the foundation stone of the G DATA campus is listed on the time capsule for future generations. Photo: G DATA / Ingo Otto