The project was to transform a shopping mall space, measuring 100,000sqft (9,290sqm) over two floors, into a large office workplace for the creative agency Cheil Worldwide, in Sanlitun, Beijing.
The brief was to create an alternative work place, in two phases, that would encourage connectivity and social interactions across the different departments to create one holistic company. The atmosphere was to feel domestic and comfortable, with a variety of different workspace types, from open to semi-private and private.
The design responds to the cross-cultural context of Sanlitun – a new ‘commercial village’ within the traditional urban density of Beijing.
The overall office space planning aimed to reflect the traditional space planning of Beijing’s Hutong villages - with open plan workspaces, levels and lanes for circulation, courtyards for communal events, and the concept of a ‘house within a house’ applied to the conference room volumes, which are integrated into the open plan.
A new timber-clad staircase in the central courtyard area was designed to connect the two floors of the company, creating a dynamic social area for company meetings and multipurpose events. The main conference rooms are immediately adjacent, with full height pivot doors that can open up completely, and seating platforms for staff to occupy and address the social courtyard.
These main conference rooms are crafted from black timber and elevated on metal legs - each accessed via a stepped wooden staircase that transports the user into surprising interior conditions, including; ‘living room’, ‘dining room’, ‘workshop’, ‘gallery’ and ‘tea room’.
The pantry was designed to feel calm, airy and fresh. A timber slatted canopy with artificial skylights defines the space, while tree-like columns accentuate its verticality. A full height glass wall replaced a solid partition to allow natural daylight to enter the space from the building’s atrium.
Bean Buro Team
Design Directors: Lorène Faure, Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui
Architectural Designers/Assistants: Katherine Leung, Yiki Liong, Yolanda Leung, Tracy Shum, Pauline Paradis, Tommy Hui, Michelle Ho
Project Manager: JLL
LDI: Beijing Longanhuacheng Architectural Designing Co. Ltd.
Contractors: Jing Gong, Beijing Dengfeng Decoration Engineering