Into The Collaborative Hub
Introducing The New Working Environment
[Work In Collaboration with Fanyi Pan & Veronica Zeng]
Located near Shenzhen, China, Pingdi is a new low-carbon city where innovative and sustainable technologies are being developed and stimulated. The design takes on an existing multistory manufactory structure and transforms it into a new prototype of office/workplace. Taking the notion of sustainability into consideration, this project aims to create a collaborative working environment in which original ideas are exchanged, spread and promoted, while still incorporating sustainable elements into the building itself. The structure hosts different firms which all study and focus on sustainability in diverse fields. Starting with four original firms researching individual topics, the adaptive structure allows potential developments of the firms in terms of quantities and qualities, accordingly to the fast development of Pingdi over time.
As opposed to a conventional Chinese office building, in which interior spaces are divided into narrower compartments which isolate and limit interactions between employees, this prototype provides a well-balanced working environment that incorporates spaces for both collaborative and private work modes. Furthermore, while regular individual office space can be shrunk down due to the increasing number of occupants, hence more interior partitions over time, the plug-in system can adopt more firms without compromising the exiting spaces of the current firms.
The building is read in 3 vertical zones along its longitudinal side:
Facing South is the adaptive structure, where the firms’ private units are “plugged-in”. Each individual unit is pre-assembled from modular panels. All panels, including the floor plate element, are made of either transparent or translucent material, allowing natural light to penetrate into the behind spaces of the building, as well as illuminating the streetscape as night falls. Activities inside are also animated to the outside, due to the used materials. As the modular system used for the panels allows a quick assembly and disassembly process, they can satisfy the demand for bigger spaces or more firms throughout the years. Moreover, the system is sustainable for its flexibility to be stored, reused and recycled.
On the North side of the building is the collaborative bar, where collaborative activities happen, allowing employees from different firms come to work and interact. Programs include café, gym, model shop, meeting spaces and library. The shared facilities attract employees from different expertise.
The in-between zone contains a central staircase and connective terraces which bridge the other two zones together.