This project is a workspace for a brand new team of stock traders and analysts, comprising of 4,000 SF of a single floor in a Shenzhen super-tall skyscraper. It was a collaboration between The Office as a Project and Architects Collective (Archix.co).
Project Name: Shenzhen Investment Office
Studio Name: Architects Collective
Project size: 4000 ft2
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 1
Location: Shenzhen, China
Photography: Xu Liang Leon
For us, this project was about subverting accepted notions of ‘luxury’ and instead creating a sense of subtle refinement. We avoided a common understanding of ‘luxurious’ materials, looking instead to the use of unique visual effects and the creation of novel kinds of enclosure to explore a different sense of privilege.
For the office area, the client had one simple client request: “no doors.” We obliged by striking a balance between openness and enclosure, with the basic architectural unit of the ‘L-shaped partition’ employed to create extraordinary, nested spaces and moments of visual privacy—while enabling vocal collaboration that is so crucial for a small team.
Because of the small size of the company and the client-focused nature of the work, we also privileged the common amenity spaces—focusing particularly on the importance of developing an active team culture as a precursor for success. A variety of zones for relaxation and other non-work activities make up a large portion of this workplace, supporting the relatively location-sensitive nature of the work itself (due to computer hardware requirements/constraints).
The varied sizes, heights and locations of the partitions allow many degrees of territorial and visual privacy. Views, perspectives and a sense of enclosure shift as one moves around the surprising and atmospheric space. Custom glazed panels with filtered dichroic film produces further novelty in colour and reflectivity and an air of space-age luxury.
Finally, future growth and future adaptations of the young business were considered in the office area through a provision of building systems for, and a partial outlining of, future enclosed offices—with the formal characteristics of the ‘L’ again proving useful.
The ‘Entertainment’ side of the project takes a more poetic approach, and is inspired by the scenes of Zhang Zeduan’s (张择端) grand panorama, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” (清明上河圖). A custom set of sliding doors encloses a raised podium housing gaming tables, and surrounded by a cantilevered engawa-like porch, reminiscent of the Song dynasty pavilions depicted in the epic scroll. The pattern on the doors themselves is an abstracted representation of the painting, and the warm colour palette reminds of the panorama’s aged patina. The space is divided simply in half by the level change, with a wet bar in between to welcome larger social gatherings.