The new model of communal workspaces with hot desking and flexible new ways of working paradoxically means the modern workplace plays an even more important role in social interaction and creative culture. Tasked with designing unique communal spaces for global brand WeWork’s new 60,000 sqft co-working concept, which spread over eight floors in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, NCDA started with careful consideration of these new points of interaction and understanding human dynamics in order to implement WeWork’s unique approach for creating a series of spaces that would allow people to gather brainstorm, and just relax.
Taking inspiration from Hong Kong’s iconic transportation and cues from WeWork’s in-house design team, NCDA has defined each floor as an individual ‘neighbourhood’, creating a distinctive sense of place for each floor through different colour and material palettes, eclectic custom-design furnishings, and a collection of local-inspired wallpapers alongside inspirational bespoke artworks by Hong Kong-based creatives that include photographers, lighting artists and various illustrators. The purpose is to encourage members to explore the various thematic floors and discover collaboration opportunities.
Each of the communal spaces offers a forward-thinking yet nostalgic take on a local cultural theme, drawing typology from the iconic transportation to the city’s quintessential streetscape. For example, a pantry inspired by the traditional street kiosks, curved bar counter with wooden overhang inspired by the Ferry terminal, custom-designed sofas are a nod to the Star Ferry’s signature seating, bespoke lighting further evokes Hong Kong’s familiar street signage, trams and florescent lights.
This decorative ‘hardware’ and its arrangement in the space is designed to encourage interpersonal connectivity through impromptu conversations, while also fostering a sense of community and collaborative culture that is unique to both WeWork and Hong Kong. The new coworking space embraces Hong Kong unique characters and local creativities, while the design sets a new standard for office culture, raising quality of life during and after work for a diverse workforce through creating opportunities for communication, collaboration, and personal connections.
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