Bizhouse – cool new way to work and live

Transform a Tong Lau – an old tenement-style building in Hong Kong – into a contemporary space for the growing community of people wanting to work from home. That was the brief presented to Hong Kong design studio Bean Buro.

The result is Bizhouse, a collection of twelve flexible, live-and-work apartments over five levels in Causeway Bay that are comfortable, elegant and fresh. What was once a tired building is now a functionally adept space that responds to the way many people live and work today.

“Across the world, there has been a rise in the work-from-home culture, “ says Bean Buro co-founder Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui. “But many people soon realise they can’t be productive at home because it’s not equipped for working. Similarly, people don’t want to live a stressful work environment.”

So how did the design team achieve the balance – to allow users to work productively by day and easily transform the space into a comfy home by night?

“We explored the full architectural potential of the Tong Lau building, which inherently offered highly efficient internal floor areas,” says Kenny. “We wanted the apartments to feel spacious, open and generous, which in our opinion, is what conveys a sense of luxury to the users.”

The main idea was to create a generous open space in each apartment where a multitude of activities could happen. Key design features inside each apartment include:

  • a fold-down bed, which can be easily tucked away during the day to maximise the floor area
  • a movable and extendable table that transforms from a desk to a dining table to a large collaboration table that caters for group meetings
  • a portable custom sofa that can be used for work or relaxing, or stored away inside a wardrobe
  • acoustic pin-up walls for creative thinking, as well as peg walls for the user to curate their work, hobbies and decorations

Bean Buro Residential Workplace Hospitality Bizhouse

Each apartment features its own enclosed kitchen, work bar and washroom. In some units, concealed sliding doors that can partition the open space into smaller spaces for simultaneous activities.

Kenny says the studio envisioned all common spaces of the building to be devoted to social activities and to promote a sense of community as a ‘live+work hub’. The ground floor lift lobby contains a large signage board for each resident to display their identity, with a guest waiting lobby.

On each floor, the lift corridor is kept minimalistic and fresh. Each apartment’s door is a writable surface where users can leave messages for others. Residents can also access and borrow shared amenities of stacked loose stools for conducting group meetings inside their apartments. The roof terrace is refurbished with outdoor decking, subtle lighting and a garden, where users can enjoy social gatherings.

Bizhouse could well be the way of the future.