Text description provided by the architects. Hong Kong designers Bean Buro have created an innovative and collaborative workspace for world-class creative agency Leo Burnett. Located in the Landmark East AIA Kowloon Tower in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, the design inhabits two floors as well as a large external terrace, totaling 35,000sqft.
Inspired by an exchange of contextual narratives from the local hipster culture of the post-industrial Kwun Tong to the vibrant urban life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the design encourages social interactions between staff to increase creative thinking and collaboration.
The new office supports the highly dynamic working culture of a creative agency through a variety of spaces such as open plan work clusters, semi-private discussion areas, private meeting rooms, and enclosed offices. Additionally, several art and graphics installations fundamental to the Leo Burnett brand animate the space and help organize the overall design.
Upon entering, staff and clients are greeted by an industrial factory themed sliding door, an illusion achieved by highly realistic sticker graphics, and a double faced metal plate embossed with the company logo on one side and the company’s symbolic pair of glasses, worn by Leo Burnett himself, on the other. Employees can then scan into work on the 3.5-meter tall card reader in the form of another widely recognized company symbol, the pencil. The installation plays off the company philosophy, “big ideas come from big pencils”.
The main feature of the new workspace is a set of sculptural meeting rooms that inhabit the reception area. The meeting rooms, inspired by Kwun Tong’s history of ship construction, appear to be floating with walls clad in curved ribs and plywood panels. The meeting tables inside were uniquely designed with CNC techniques using layers of plywood and corian.
Also in the reception area is the first of three brightly tiled long bars that layer the central space of the project. Suspended above the reception desk is a custom made 5-meter long steel installation lined with light bulbs of Leo Burnett’s iconic company logo. The second long bar forms the café area, where staff can have lunch, hold informal meetings, or throw parties. Beyond the café is a large outdoor terrace, where the final 10-meter long bar was installed for flexible events. It has a barbecue area and outdoor furniture for casual meetings.
A collection of other design features contributes to the quirky personality of the new office. A series of dinner style carts lined with acoustic drapes and homey pendant lights are installed across the office. Inside, staff can carry out semi-private group discussions or personal creative thinking. Throughout the workspace, designated walls are coated with writable paint for spontaneous meeting discussions. Wood wool and cork wall panels were used as acoustic absorption across the office. Enclosed offices are situated along the building’s glazed perimeter while preserving maximum natural diffused day lighting into the general open plan office. These offices have full height glass walls to preserve the visual connections across all spaces.