A ribbon of red and the joy of learning inspire new workspace design

Bean Buro co-founder Lorène Faure channelled her childhood memories and the excitement of her first day at school to create a playful and stimulating environment for the new Asia regional office of Charterhouse, a leading UK-based group of boarding schools.

The innovative Hong Kong design studio was tasked to create a collaborative workspace to foster stronger relationships with different internal and external partners while reflecting the brand’s heritage in a contemporary way that would be simple and elegant.

Inspired by the joy of schooling, Lorène and co-founder Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui, responded with a design that is playful, colourful, and stimulating. Lorène says the idea was to “inject a pop of red”, a subtle refence to the client’s brand, to stimulate social activities, against a bright and neutral backdrop for a comfortable workspace.

Located in an office tower in the vibrant Wanchai district of Hong Kong, the 2,700 sq ft wedge-shaped floor plan offered the opportunity for a flexible internal layout, with only one column in the open-plan space, a feature that was preserved in the design.

The wine-red element, notes Kenny, acts like a ribbon that weaves its way through the office helping to organise and connect different zones within the layout. Starting as the fabric of a seating bench in the welcoming reception, it turns and wraps around a feature column to form a planter element for the working neighbourhood, and then fans along the main walls to provide ample seating opportunities for employees to personal working or chatting and relaxing.

Small black circular tables are built into this red seating element, with pendant lights for reading or informal meeting activities. The overall colour palette is elegantly controlled with neutral white walls and timber flooring that provide a calm backdrop to the splashes of red and black metal accents.

Natural daylight and views are prioritised for most of the employees working in the open-plan, with various collaboration spaces such as meeting rooms, open collaboration booths, focus rooms, and a private office located in the backdrop. A large sharing table is positioned in a spacious open pantry, equipped with AV/IT for impromptu meetings.