Wayfinding Design : CoDesign

New office design in Hong Kong boosts openness and a new level of consciousness within a concrete jungle

The new headquarter of HKPI, designed by Hong Kong-based interior and furniture design firm Design Systems ltd., epitomises a new work lifestyle envisioned by the client and the team that reflects unspoken contemporary desires.

The 1,500 square metres space is divided into a 40% open area and 60% office space for the workforce and management team of 50 people—an unprecedented luxury in an uber dense city where space is gold.

“The people are the most valuable asset of the company. We imagined how people interact with each design element during the design process, and put their wellbeing at the forefront,” as stated by Design Systems on their design intention.

Open area: a poetic light play

Comprising a sky garden, meeting area and cafeteria, the open area serves as the anchor space for the staff to mingle, relax and communicate.

The open area is designed with two key elements: light and texture.

Through considering the light quality at different times, the space’s mood is set by natural light at daytime, twilight in the evening, and artificial lighting.

The interplay of light and materials is meticulously orchestrated—marble, GRC, wood, and aluminium alloy, all serve as the backdrop for the poetic light play.

The team valued the textural quality of materials, as opposed to form—the tangible qualities of natural materials, like marble and wood, are maximised on flat, curved and 3D surfaces respectively; whereas for the artificial materials, a wavy ceiling is moulded by GRC, and a striped wall is constructed by extruded aluminium and oak veneer. The multidimensional details add depth to the users’ perceptions of light and shadow.

The shadows of the roof and the silhouette of the trees are cast on the marble floor grain during daytime, and against the striped wooden wall at dusk, forming new patterns, enriching the textural quality of the space.

Office area: the sky, the blue, and the details

When designing, we didn’t submit to the popular open floor plan in office design, as the concentration and privacy provided by traditional partitions, are much needed by the client’s specific working requirements.

Nevertheless, novelties are created through the installation of a sound-absorbing navy blue screen. Created by upcycled denim, the screen sits adjacent to the sky-blue stone wall, serving as the focal point of the office. The two features complement each other, provoking imagination of the sky and beyond.

Such design contributes to the staff’s wellbeing as well.“When tired, it’s best to stretch their legs in the sky garden; if not, simply look up from their desks and stare at the sky-like stone wall can feed them some contemplating me-time .”

A custom lattice ceiling was made to facilitate the installation of lighting, and to provide the best fixture performance. The use of upward, downward and reflective lights creates a pleasant flare, giving soft and uniform light distribution, optimal for a working environment.

In this project, no efforts is spared on details. From the elevator lanterns, door handles and lighting switches, to the ceiling light fixtures, wall panels, furniture, glass brick and washing basins, everything is custom-made. Both the design team and the client have put great care towards the form, texture, and functionality.

The custom marble hook inside the toilet cubicle, in particular, embodies our dedication of the whole design story—the length we have gone to take care of things, even behind closed doors, exemplifies our design thinking that no detail is too small to create a unique and tender spatial experience.

The details