It was Rocky Yip’s own experience that inspired the idea for Three Keys Craft Space
, a co-working environment that is geared at the creative community. As one half of Entendre Studios
, a branding and graphic design agency, he found himself lacking the tools he needed on a day-to-day basis.
“In our first two or three years, we kept encountering the same problems: not enough space or tools to make what we wanted to make, so we would borrow tools from one friend or another,” he says. “We worked out of a tiny apartment and used the broom closet as a workshop. Eventually, we moved to a bigger space in Chai Wan and people started borrowing our space and our tools. We developed a very collaborative way of working and met some awesome people along the way.”
The fabrication workshop at Three Keys
Three Keys was born out of that love of creating and collaborating, and its design reflects its intention. Located in Chai Wan, which is home to photography studios, design firms, manufacturers and much more, the 3,500-square-foot space is a mix of open studio space, workshops and textile space. There are laser cutters, drafting tables, machine and hand tools, sewing machines and even an in-house fashion designer who can help people make their clothing ideas a reality. There is a fabrication team, too, which can help realise “school projects or 4-metre totem poles for a music festival”, and of course, there’s that organic network of makers working here - a network of potential consultants that's on tap.
With so many different functions within the one space, it had to be as flexible as possible. “The space first and foremost needed to be practical. We wanted a space that could adapt to the needs of our members … if people needed space for small teams, we could extend the platform to create more desk space,” says Yip.
A quiet corner at Three Keys
To achieve these goals, the Three Keys team worked with design and architecture studio PMDC
, who came up with the idea for a hierarchy of spaces that sees different functions placed at different heights. “We defined this by building most rooms on raised platforms, with ample storage underneath, which solved one problem. The circulation of the space is carefully planned to make sure there is no disconnect between the public and private areas,” says the PMDC design team, which consisted of Gigi Tang, Peter Cheng and Zac Chan.
PMDC says this was both exciting and challenging. “It forced us to think on different levels, literally. With hidden furniture and tabletops, and pullout platforms that can extend the hot desks area, there is great flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of Three Keys’ users, depending on the scenario.”
The open studio area is spread over different levels, featuring raised platforms
With its open space and adaptable nature, Three Keys is primed for “future users to inject their personalities,” says the PMDC team. It’s also welcoming and functional – the ideal place for anyone who likes to create. And indeed, this was Yip’s intention. “We want Three Keys to be a place where people can hone, learn and teach their skills, and as a result, master their craft.”
Three Keys is located at 907 Paramount Building, 12 Ka Yip Street, Chai Wan.