A lot of people have already noticed office interior design has an immense impact on workers’ emotions and work efficiency. However, not a lot of people notice that an office building’s public space could also affect workers’ states of mind. Every day, workers spend one-third of their day in an office building; it’s functions like their second home. Therefore, its interior design – from the offices to its public spaces – should be well thought-through and handled with care.
The moment you walk into an office building, there’s already a change in your state of emotion and mind. Its public spaces are transitional spaces: your change from being “you” into “a professional”; Your mind changes from a state of relaxation into a state of focus. An office building’s public spaces prepare you for the day ahead and also sends you off after work tenderly. It should give you a sense of arrival, a sense of place, and a sense of belonging. It is a place over which you could claim ownership.
In our office building design for HKPI (Hong Kong Pacific Investments Limited), a property management company in Hong Kong, we shaped the character of the building’s lobby through the crafting of light. During the daytime, bright sunlight enters the lobby through floor-to-ceiling windows; combined with the lobby’s lighting design, the space is full of energy and makes workers feel welcomed and prepared for the challenges ahead. It’s like how they would drink a cup of coffee or tea to kick-start their day. In the evening, the lobby’s lighting is soft and atmospheric, which makes workers feel relaxed and ready to turn off their “working mode”. It’s like how they would go out and grab a drink or enjoy dinner with their friends and families after work. The lobby sends them off with a tender good-bye. Overall, the lobby is a transitional space that builds a relationship with the workers through daily “lighting rituals”.
As for each storey’s lift lobby, we gave each of them an understated but unique individuality that fosters workers’ sense of belonging. We used the same type of marble for all the lift lobbies flooring, but on each storey, we created different combinations of patterns by lining up the marbles in various ways. The marbles’ organic patterns also add to the pool of variation. Each lift lobby is like a unique fingerprint, and workers could instantly recognise their designated storey as they walk out the lift. Because of each storey’s unique design, the workers would feel a sense of arrival, a sense of place, a sense of belonging and be able to claim ownership over their working spaces.