PINES ARCH chose thoughtful materials, textures, and colors to complete the Golong Holdings offices located in Hangzhou, China.
Humans have settled near historic waterways since the earliest days of our existence. The Sumerians exploited the natural forces and sedimentary lands of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, creating an irrigation system that gave rise to an advanced, well-populated civilization that became the first literate society in history. Six millennia later, human civilization has moved into the virtual world, enabled by science and technology. In their latest project Golong Holdings Offices, PINES ARCH draws inspiration from one of the most emblematic origins of human society–the river valley civilizations; creating a new office environment for the quality-oriented International Beauty Group “Golong Holdings”.
Headquartered in Hangzhou, “Golong Holdings” is a multi-national, multi-brand conglomerate in the online beauty industry. Gen Z-ers are the most populous group in Golong’s employee demographic, putting forward insightful demands for their new office space to fulfill their complex and compounded vocations in the digital sphere. In the opinion of PINES ARCH, these demands herald the evolving definition of the office space in the Internet Era: it needs to expand beyond the simple work-desk arrayment, and into a more holistic reinterpretation of “work” in our civilization. PINES ARCH’s design responds Golong’s horizontal management style, with flexible spaces to ensure efficient collaboration and encourage interaction. Ideas, products and values breed and coexist here, cultivating a new understanding of “civilization” unique to Golong’s core values.
A “River” is introduced as the main path of circulation, as well as a carrier for the flow of ideas and creativity. The curvature of the path guides the new spatial order. It breaks the rigid structural grid, visually dissipating the repetitive spatial divisions from the columns. The entrance opens into a light-filled reception space, and the journey on the “river” begins to take visitors past meeting rooms, a large lounge, open workstations and other functional programs on each side, signifying the creation of settlements on the riverbanks. The semi-private spaces such as the phonebooths and work-nooks are arranged on nodal pauses of the dynamic flow of the “river”. Functionally, the office is a self-governing city, equipped with diverse spaces for production and work, as well as a gym and an outdoor roof garden.
The objective of the renovation project is suspended between creating lightness and extrapolating the future. Corrugated glass is bent to create a series of curved screens resembling cascading ripples. Through the translucent glass screens, the reception area experiences changing light effects throughout the day, creating a sense of rejuvenation, an ever-going exploration in the beauty industry. The stainless steel-cladded lounge area is the central area for communication. Concept collides, diffuses and deposits, forming a “smart island”, which brings new vitality to the company.
It was a conscious design choice for PINES ARCH to preserve and highlight the original textures of the main materials: brushed stainless steel, terrazzo, corrugated glass, and concrete. A material palette made up of low saturation colors ceremonially simulates a lab-like environment. A balance between utilitarianism and aesthetics is achieved by keeping the materials in their honest states, free of ornamentation and superfluity. Natural colors in the phonebooth and meeting rooms are carefully chosen to add warmth to the space.
Extremities can create abrupt miracles, only in balance can things endure. In Golong Holdings Offices, PINES ARCH aims to stay true to functionality, designing for current needs and the foreseeable future. By revisiting “river valley civilizations” as a design cue, the redefined office space is more open, free and human-centric, ready for new opportunities and challenges in the post-information society.
Design: PINES ARCH
Design Team: Evelyn Jingjie Wong, Shuni Wu, Evelyn Jingjie Wong, Shuni Wu, Jiawen Song, Yunji Chung
Photography: Breeze Image-Guozhe