The brief was to create a workplace that would sit as one of the key hubs in the company’s global studio and align the workplace with the company’s vision and key workplace trends.
The environment embodies the key principles of activity based working and is tailored to match the unique diversity of tasks required in a multi-disciplined design practise. To enable the global agenda; the workspace integrates a high level of technology to allow occupants to work anywhere, anytime. It is a new workstyle that Woods Bagot has incorporated by giving flexibility and promotes real time working. All occupants have a laptop and a locker and the approach to work is to allow dynamic movement and cross collaboration with our clients or between design teams in all 14 studios across the world both physically and virtually.
The site, an old apartment building within Beijing’s vibrant and design savvy Sanlitun Village, provided the team with opportunity to create a dynamic and modern Design House. The utilitarian nature of the simple four storey apartment has been retained with concrete floors and walls and raw timber trussed ceiling, juxtaposed against the sleek and transparent architecture of the entrance lobby and pop out balcony boxes.
The contrasting architectural languages assist in defining the interior planning and in creating a diversity of types of spaces within the workplace. The upper level with its high truss ceilings has been utilised to create a volumous working and collaborative space. The lobby box, which is clearly visible from the plaza below, is activated with collaborative spaces and reception and the light filled pop out glass boxes to the rear have been infused with colour and are used to house more focused activities. The aesthetic has been created to support the ‘house’ typology. The lighting strategy is layered with indirect and task light, to soften and highlight key areas.
The approach is sustainable and sensitive with a limited palette of materials to embellish the existing finishes. Recycled timber, vibrant fabrics and rugs have been overlaid to add warmth and a domestic feel and layers of pinnable and writable surfaces have been added to enliven the space and allow each of the teams to clearly express the projects they are working on.