4N Design Architects’ concept for a new office lobby is a seamless blend of indoors and outdoors. Christie Lee writes.
While the New Territories, that far-flung part of town located a good 30-minute train ride from Central, usually conjures images of scenic meadows, parts of it are undergoing rapid development. One recent project in the area is a new lobby for a building designed by 4N Design Architects.
Owned by a dried seafood retailer, the expansive 8,000-square-foot lobby comprises an indoor concierge area and a semi-outdoor garden space.
Style and functionality come together in a circular set-up that serves as both a decorative wall and a locker room. A nod to the New Territories’ bike culture, as well as being mindful of an audience who are interested in LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) lifestyle, mini rainbow-hued baskets furnish the exterior of the structure.
The emphasis on a LOHAS lifestyle is also reflected on the ceiling, which is conceived of four-metre-long timber slots that have been sustainably sourced from Southeast Asia. A vertical garden has a variety of flora spilling out from rectangular slots in the wall, and together with the green garden patches that meander their way through the space, offset the structured interiors.
While the circular forms create a sense of space, minimalist timber slots run the entire length of the lobby to achieve visual continuity. The natural texture is echoed in a simple but selected palette of varying shades of green and mahogany. Aside from allowing natural light to pour in, the glass windows blur the line between the indoors and outdoors.
Anchored by a few timber columns that have plants spilling out from the intersecting points, the semi-outdoor garden faced only one hindrance: while spacious, this area sits under the shade and doesn’t get much sun and rain. Upon consulting a landscape design expert, 4N Design Architects responded to this challenge by installing an automated irrigation system and advanced drainage system.
4N Design Architects