If a well-designed city is a balanced blend of public and private spaces, it makes sense to apply the same approach to workplace design. For Mur Mur Lab, a workspace should be bright to improve productivity, and encourage employee engagement with elements of spatial intrigue.

When the Shanghai-based design studio first visited the site, the team took inspiration from what wasn’t there instead of what was. The building was locked in an area of industry, one devoid of any visual connection to the rest of the Shangqiu. In response, Mur Mur Lab approaches the space as an urban landscape – one considerate of both public and private needs. Greenery and light sculpts the workplace into its own urban assemblage.

Halls and meeting areas are defined as public areas, while semi-secular offices are spatially separate private areas. Large circular ceiling lights conjure visions of courtyards in the curved meeting arenas. Natural light pours in, bleaching the already bright-white walls in a sun-drenched glow.

A sprawling arrangement of walls at different heights carves out the space according to social function. At the same time, cut-outs in the walls provide transparency that introduces a sense of perspective and visual interest. More than that, Mur Mur Lab imbues the workplace with a sense of ownership by designing complementing public and private areas according to a city-inspired identity.

You can read more about Mur Mur Lab and their approach to design in an interview in the upcoming issue Frame 123.