Communications agency Switching Time recently hired interior design firm hcreates to design their new office in Shanghai, China.
“An upcoming powerhouse on the communications scene and helmed by Taiwing Tian and Florent Chapatte, their new office was designed to bring together their fast-expanding team and promote a collaborative working environment. As well as having a space that made their team proud to work in, they wanted it to feel like an extension of their home. Each person is seen as part of the Switching Time family, a strong principle that runs within the company culture, so it was important to give a sense of homely comfort within the spaces.
Having well outgrown their previous office, the team was looking for more collaborative working space, a large well organised storeroom and a multifunctional team training and event area. hcreates divided the space into three zones – play, work, and store. The play zone incorporated the welcome area and multifunction spaces. Containing the entertainment area, a large boardroom opens onto a lounge and bar, used for combined team and training events. A meeting pod and call booths separate this space from the work zone. The ability to visually close off the play and work zones, allowed for people to work undistracted and retain working privacy during client events.
Co-Founder Taiwing’s fun sense of style made for an on trend bright and cheery colour palette. An open plan office, for the few enclosed spaces it did require, it was important that these had a good visual link to the rest of the team with large floor to ceiling glass walls looking over the main space. hcreates collaborated with Switching Time’s internal design team to incorporate bright wallpaper patterns matching their colour scheme for the meeting rooms and seating booths, pulling them visually into the open space.
As always with old buildings we didn’t quite know what we would find until demolition had been completed. Previously a large commercial canteen for the whole office block, the entire floor needed to be completely stripped back. A corner site, it has a long curving wall along one side creating soft lines, but a challenge to integrate with typically square office fixtures. After demolition, several columns within the centre of the space were uncovered. hcreates left these exposed incorporating them into the wall of the meeting rooms, which contrasted nicely against the crisp white new walls, giving texture and history to the space. One of the pleasant surprises and most distinctive element in the space was a large double height space within the middle of the office. With the ability to add a window within this roof void it brought in needed natural light and gave the centre of the office an impressive sense of height and relief.
Kian furniture’s Shanghai team, conveniently located in the same building, provided all the new furniture. Their on trend seasonal colours and style perfectly matched the offices new colour scheme and complimented the overall look. To maximise cost vs quality ratio, hcreates focused on using off-the-shelf, cost-efficient materials and detailing without sacrificing impact and quality. Clean white walls and easily maintained oak wood flooring contrasted against simple, but effective painted colour pops within the office and meeting rooms.
As a hands-on client with a sharp eye for detail and slick project management skills, this made for an efficiently run project which was delivered on time, on budget and in style! hcreates wishes them all the best and hope they thrive in their new space and team environment,” says hcreates.
- Location: Shanghai, China
- Date completed: 2020
- Size: 16,000 square feet
- Design: hcreates
- Photos: Julia Sperling