McKinsey & Company Hong Kong Office / OMA

Photos by Philippe Ruault courtesy

The design by OMA for the new McKinsey & Company office caters to the consulting firm’s need for a more intimate space that offers a greater sense of collaboration and community.  McKinsey confronted OMA with the following design question: How to rethink their work space in a way that is innovative and enhances the McKinsey experience?

Architects: OMA
Location: Hong Kong, China
Client: McKinsey & Company
Project Year: May 2011
Photographs: Photos by Philippe Ruault courtesy OMA

Photos by Philippe Ruault courtesy OMA

The new office plan draws inspiration from the black bands on a universal barcode. Different functional spaces are organized in a set of horizontal bands arranged across the office. This design deviates from the traditional corporate office by emphasizing openness yet allowing for confidentiality where needed. Each band respectively accommodates rooms for partners, research teams, staff and clients. Rooms are no longer isolated cubicles solely occupied by one person, but rather a space that different staff members can share depending on their needs. Double glazed glass walls enhance the openness of the office while providing the levels of privacy that the client needs.


The band above the curved bay overlooking prosperous Central employs an open plan for both traveling consultants and some of the full time Hong Kong staff. The traveling consultant can choose where to sit when in town, while Hong Kong based staff have permanent seating. Flexible seating encourages efficient utilization of office space while accommodating the needs of a highly mobile consulting staff. The openness of the area also encourages interaction among the staff, echoing the spirit of teamwork that is central to how McKinsey works internally, as well as with clients.

Photos by Philippe Ruault courtesy OMA

The central band, with common areas for staff of all levels, is dedicated to promoting interaction between all staff members and cultivating a stronger sense of belonging. The warm wood of the reception area, fashioned into a playful tree pattern, welcomes visitors as they step into the office. This tree pattern extends into the office, suffusing the main work area with a strong hint of nature. The lounge at the eastern end of the central band, boasting a stunning view of Victoria Harbour, offers the best location for McKinsey Home Fridays. This monthly event gathers the frequent travelling and the Hong Kong based staff to share their experiences as a unified office. During regular work days, the staff can bring their laptop to the lounge and work while enjoying the Harbour view. At the other end of the central band is the Quiet Area, a secluded corner for contemplation or rest.


With staff sitting mostly in open areas, a feature of the new design is the addition of several dedicated spots for private conversations. Four circular glass telephone booths are located throughout the open area and lounge for this purpose. The phone booths glow red or orange depending on their vacancy. The colors not only add life to the neutral palette of the office, but also serve the functional purpose of letting staff know when a booth is available. A larger phone booth is provided for conference calls requiring more space for participants. The new McKinsey & Company Hong Kong office accommodates the needs for both privacy and interaction, promoting efficiency in terms of the use of space while boosting staff productivity as well as their sense of community.


Partner in charge: David Gianotten
Project Architect: Alejandra Blanco Ackerman
Design Team: Karbi Chan, Yin Ho, Michael Kokora, Katja Lam, Mike Lim, Ted Lin, Catherine Ng, Jesung Park, Elaine Tsui, Patrizia Zobernig
Main Contractor: EDM Construction Ltd.
Acoustic Consultant: Shen Milsom & Wilke Ltd.
Furniture: EDM Construction Ltd., USM, Herman Miller
MEP Consultant: Ferrier Chan & Partners
Electrical Works: Cheung Hing E&M Ltd.
Plumbing & Drainage, MVAC Works: The Great Eagle Engineering Co. Ltd.
Fire Services: Keysen Engineering Co. Ltd.
Security Consultant: Chubb Hong Kong Ltd.
AV Consultant: Ultra Active Technology Ltd.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "McKinsey & Company Hong Kong Office / OMA" 08 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • mark lasick

    wow. Ole has very little understanding of office environments and execution of interior detailing.

    ill proportioned spaces and very illogical sequencing. the diagrams provide no valuable insight like they may in his larger projects.

    he only wins when he has a money shot rendering (i.e. cctv) from 200 square meters away. look close at this one and it falls apart.

    just another confirmation that most highly regarded architects cant handle small scale. (i.e. any component/object in an interior environment designed under 30 cm) and mid scale (the plan/elevation – 30 cm (1′-0) to 400cm) in this instance.

    mark l.

    • John

      Ole left OMA over a year ago. read the credits, the partner in charge is David Gianotten.

      Also, having been to a number of OMA projects, i can tell you that they are often more inventive and sensitive to the small scale as they are at the big. Just look at Prada NY (designed by Ole and without any renderings from 500 meters away, not square meters away).

      Anyways, this project is nothing special.

    • bill

      well done for posting negative feedback under your own name. however in this instance your comments seem pretty ignorant. i agree not the best oma work though. but the details are fine.

  • Hong Kong

    TRYING to go for a new concept… but i don’t think executed very well, and it’s just too OPEN specifically for the private nature of their client businesses.

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