Architects: CLOU architects
- Area: 388 m²
- Year: 2022
Manufacturers: Huihaiyuan Galvanized Steel, Naimeili.wood635, Yongfa Stone
- Design Team: Jan Clostermann, Lin Li, Yadi Zhong, Sebastian Loaiza, Haiwei Xie
- City: Beijing
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. 2020 and 2021 have proven to be seminal years for CLOU: One year after launching the Shanghai branch near the Bund, CLOU’s Beijing office has now expanded into sparkling new premises. Within the familiar surroundings of Sanlitun SOHO, the space has doubled in size to take up half a tower floorplate on the 17th floor, with a fully glazed facade offering sweeping views across Sanlitun and into the mountains of North Eastern Beijing.
Flexible workspaces for complementary ways of collaboration. Cool and clean lines define different zones of work, communication, research, and display, connected by CLOU’s signature silver galvanized walls – a feature that has been threading through all spaces since the office’s inception. Black and white materials and furniture contrast with warm wood and color accents, softly mirrored in the reflection of the steel.
Hot-dip galvanized steel sheet (SGCC) is widely used in industrial engineering, but mainly revolved around household appliances. Galvanized steel panels have afforded all CLOU offices to date with flexibility and multi-use surfaces. The material’s sharp and cool appearance, its non-directional surface pattern, and its magnetic properties render the surfaces of the functional wall and furniture cladding a versatile canvas for all representations of our design processes on display. From the main entrance through the design floor and the communal areas, the softly distorting reflections emphasize industrious brightness in a connective gesture.
Brand identity. Entering the galvanized steel-covered entrance, the right-hand side appears to be the open office area, and the left-hand side is the model workshop. The two zones are connected by a stepped display area, the reception area, and the public corridor. CLOU LOGO as part of the brand identity is presented on the walls of the three areas in a variety of materials and sizes. The black and silver graphic LOGO showcases the firm's bold and creative image.
On-site trying and testing. Brightly lit open office zones are complemented by various meeting rooms for in-person and virtual encounters. Each space adds its own characteristics – the boardroom with its glass enclosure around bright blue flooring and warm orange-red fabric, more intimate conference space with warm wood furniture on speckled green terrazzo, and a cave-like all-wood retreat for quiet work and conversation. Terrazzo is the single characteristic element to give rhythm and dynamics to the multidimensional expanse of our most common projects: convivial neighborhood malls that bring communities together.
CLOU’s new Beijing office references this material, taking it from the bright floors of our retail spaces in order to let it work as a means of territorial definition: open office areas are laid out to zone common and shared spaces in gleaming brightness while meeting spaces encapsulate in subtle accent colors. Boldly striped contrast patterns create spatial dynamics in the lively community and circulation axis.
A proper workshop occupies a large area of the office: in a zone for modelmaking, design tests, and material research, the wood-clad environment integrates workbenches and 3D machinery with library storage and archive rooms. Flexible furnishing allows for quick conversion into a photo studio or a mini-auditorium for inter-office presentations. Stepped display areas connect workplace and workshop along a communal meeting zone: where steel and wood intersect, models of projects past, present, and future showcase progress and variety while benchmarking possibility and quality.