Bean Buro designed the new office space for creative company Cheil, which acquires over three floors in an office building in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. The workspace has a total area of approx. 25,000sqft to accommodate the newly expanded in-house departments, creating a large holistic office for the company’s Hong Kong branch.
A creative culture that ‘Feels like home’
The design challenge was to create a generous studio-like workspace to reflect the company’s creative culture, allowing cross-departmental staff to feel connected with each other and promote interactions within the company, as well as interactions with external partners or clients. The new workspace successfully stems away from the old-fashioned corporately strict space, into a more relaxed atmosphere to encourage rigorous creativity.
The design prioritise in giving generous spaces back to the staff, for them to feel like being at home and comforted to encourage creativity. Staff can gather for cozy ideas discussions at various informal meeting places; a comfy lounge with a fireplace, casual in-wall cafe seatings, or tucked away in the custom-made diner booths. Staffs are encouraged to personalize their environment and allow artworks to populate the walls & columns, subsequently creating a playful dialogue with the external renowned arts and craft district of Sheung Wan.
A continuous ribbon-like joinery system encourages creative ideas that move around the floor space
The new workspace rejects the former offices’ dated cellular cubicle design, to embrace a fresh open plan studio space, with long desk clusters forming the open plan areas, while private offices and meeting rooms are located around the perimeter of the floorspace. The design creates a variety of private, semi-private, and shared spaces.
The main concept was a continuous ribbon-like joinery system that flows and wraps around the perimeter of the floor space, linking all departments together with shared surfaces to encourage collaborations. The ribbon joinery system provides a variety of functions such as low storage shelves, in-wall seats for informal meetings and shared work surfaces that undulates between desktop and bar heights. Spawning from this ribbon around are the fingers of desk clusters, which mutates in to full height bookshelves at one end. The overall effect is holistic and feels connected.
While private offices and meeting rooms are located around the perimeter of the floor space for private conversations, their walls are translucent and creates a non-hierachical atmosphere. Soft playful semi-transparent graphics are applied to the full height glass walls to provide signage and control visual privacy.
Cozy lighting and materials
The lighting design is cozy and comfortable to compliment to the atmosphere that ‘feels like home’. Gallery style spotlights highlight the artworks on the walls, while staff can enjoy meeting around the pendant lights in the ribbon joinery system.
The material palette for the design feels collegiate, informal and relaxed. The ribbon-like joinery elements are made of recycled chipboard that are environmentally friendly. Seating upholstery and felt curtains provide acoustic and textural softness, while wall surfaces made in black board glass allow ideas to be scribbled during formal and in-formal discussions.
A set of wiggly and curvy conference tables has been artfully designed to break down the strict atmosphere of a traditional corporate conference room. These tables can be playfully re-arranged into four configurations to adapt to different functions, from one long arrangement for large-scale meeting, to smaller clusters for small-scale meetings – a reminder of the constant state of transitions as the key to creativity.