A Table-less Coffee Shop with Co-working Space (Part 2)
In a courtyard nestled in central Beijing hutongs, Office AIO was approached by a return client hoping to establish a second business premise that consists of a 29sqm artisan coffee shop and a 140sqm boutique co-working space. The courtyard compound was built in the 1950s as People’s Art Printing House. In 2011, the printing operation was relocated to the city outskirt, and the buildings slowly became an interesting community shared by creative, cultural, and tech industries, local architect MAD’s Beijing office is also one of its key tenants.
With the growing quantity of entrepreneurship in Beijing, comes with high demands for ready-to-move-in office spaces. In this 140sqm rectangular space with technically only one window letting in direct sunlight, we aim to create a youthful, versatile, and most importantly professional co-working environment for diverse tenant
“We wanted to create a boutique but flexible workspace wherein a diversity of professions are able to adapt to and work casually or professionally at the same time.”
Due to the possible fragility of the existing structure, minimal changes were made to the original layout only to create a more rigorous circulation. The existing column and beam structure naturally splits the rectangular space into three long bars: a 1.5m wide central corridor, and two 3.9m wide wings on each side.
The central corridor began with a 4sqm waiting area, through a sliding door, leads into the main corridor connecting to the different rooms: two offices with capacity of 12 and 8 occupants, boardroom, copy room, and two WCs. Upon entry, a burl-walnut-veneer-lined waiting area was devised at the beginning of the corridor to create a pause prior to stepping into the office, sparsely furnished with a Ward Bennett Sled chair and a fiddle-leaf tree. As the large pane of frosted glass door slide over, the brightly lit corridor came into view. FLOS’ Glo Balls marks all the doorways leading into the rooms beyond, while full-height pink frosted glass doors covers the rooms that require more privacy.
The largest room was dedicated to house a more fluid and versatile working atmosphere. 12 working stations are laid out in a centralised fashion, flanked by a pantry, and a corresponding number of locker units. Additional ’quick storage’ can also be achieved with hooks on the packed out walls. The original brick and mortar interior walls are mostly covered with cork panels for sound absorption and for pinning up memos or casual presentations.
The five large glazing units in the shared wall bring in indirect illumination as well as animation through the play between light and shadow.
Across the corridor are three spaces with no natural light. The 23 sqm self-contained office comprises of 8 workstations laid out against the perimeter of the room. A wide strip of stretch ceiling system was installed along the wall mimicking a soft wash of daylight washing down into the space.
Two pink glass doors open into the boardroom that is lined with magnetic white glass and capped with a 2m by 3m stretch ceiling system lighting up the space evenly.
Towards the end of the corridor is the access to two bathrooms, one of which offers a shower for those who so wish to sharpen up after a gym session, a bike ride to work, or the creative who did an all-nighter. Tiled with a combination of pink, blue and white mosaic, the colour-way of these rooms as well as the Flos Glo Ball is a continuity of the aesthetics already established in the rest of the space.