WeWork Hong Kong turns co-workers into neighbours

HONG KONG – Hot-desking – the practice of sharing workstations within a given company as opposed to assigning each employee a permanent desk – has already established itself across various offices as the ‘future of the flexible workspace’. American co-working company WeWork hopped on the bandwagon, opening multiple hot-desk workspaces across the globe – the latest of which is Tower 535, situated in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay.

Designed in collaboration with NC Design and Architecture Ltd, the 60,000-sq-m space unfolds over eight floors and aims to encourage social interaction rather than isolated work. But how to design a space that makes workers want to actually engage with one another, besides the obvious communal tables? In Tower 535, NCDA did so by emphasizing a particular sense of space from one area to another, creating distinctive ‘neighbourhoods’ on each floor with atmospheres proper to each one of them.

This differentiation is achieved through the use of varied colour and material palettes and custom-made art, furniture, and lighting inspired by local cultural referents. The space features a pantry reminiscent of traditional street kiosks, custom-designed sofas that are a nod to the well-known Star Ferry’s signature seating, and bespoke lighting evocative of Hong Kong’s iconic street signage, trams, and neon lights.

The purpose of this spatial specificity is to invite members to take time to look around and wander from one thematic area to the next, increasing opportunities for creative collaboration as well as chance encounters – be it on a single floor or through exploring the space’s various ‘neighbourhoods’.

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