Centuries ago, the people living in the Ming to the Qing Dynasty would have needed something like the Imperial Granary to safeguard their crops from heat, water and moisture. Appropriately enough, just like a metaphor for the scale of Chinese growth, that historical building is the view from across the street at Leege, a local company that provides assistance for managing heating, ventilation, air and water control.
The light yellow tones of the crops are nevertheless present in the headquarters office today, courtesy of a concept by Beijing-based design firm Studio Ramoprimo. The central straight yellow counter, containing bar and pantry functions, stands as the public backbone for the whole working space. The large partition panels that slide along the ceiling have been decorated with traditional Beijing bricks with contemporary patterns painted on top, as a reminder of both the heritage site where the building is located and the redefinition of the capital’s visual identity today. That, for example, is where the polka-dot pattern for the large storage unit along the entrance wall comes from.
‘We wanted to push the boundaries of the traditional office environment by rethinking the relationships between all office functions,’ explained Ramoprimo’s Marcella Campa and Stevano Avesani. ‘The space is designed as an empty white page where volumes are placed freely, like a playground where people are free to move and choose new paths.’ That choice of words isn’t random: the studio also took over the branding design for Leege, coming up with the element of the leaf and its symbolic meaning of nature, growing, change and re-birth – concepts that the local design and manufacturing community frequently ponders today.
Designed by Ramoprimo
Photography by Zhang Hui and Ramoprimo