hcreates Designs Switching Time's New Office

hcreates Designs Switching Time's New Office

hcreates recently designed a colorful and fresh new space for 'Switching Time,' an energetic and successful Shanghai-based integrated communications agency. An upcoming powerhouse on the communications scene and helmed by Taiwing Tian and Florent Chapatte, their new office was designed to bring together their fast-expanding team and promote a collaborative working environment.

With a firm idea on the direction of the quality of space and color palette, hcreates wanted to help focus these ideas into an impactful and inspiring space, which made their growing team excited to come to work each day. As well as having a space that made their team proud to work in, they wanted it to feel like an extension of their home. Each person is seen as part of the Switching Time family, a strong principle that runs within the company culture, so it was important to give a sense of homely comfort within the spaces.

Having well outgrown their previous office, the team was looking for more collaborative working space, a large well-organized storeroom and a multifunctional team training and event area. hcreates divided the space into three zones - play, work, and store. The play zone incorporated the welcome area and multifunction spaces. Containing the entertainment area, a large boardroom opens onto a lounge and bar, used for combined team and training events. A meeting pod and call booths separate this space from the work zone. The ability to visually close off the play and work zones, allowed for people to work undistracted and retain working privacy during client events.

Co-Founder Taiwing's fun sense of style made for an on-trend bright and cheery color palette. An open-plan office, for the few enclosed spaces it did require, it was important that these had a good visual link to the rest of the team with large floor to ceiling glass walls looking over the main space. hcreates collaborated with Switching Time's internal design team to incorporate bright wallpaper patterns matching their color scheme for the meeting rooms and seating booths, pulling them visually into the open space.

After demolition, several columns within the center of the space were uncovered. hcreates left these exposed incorporating them into the wall of the meeting rooms, which contrasted nicely against the crisp white new walls, giving texture and history to the space. One of the pleasant surprises and most distinctive element in the space was a large double-height space within the middle of the office. With the ability to add a window within this roof void it brought in needed natural light and gave the center of the office an impressive sense of height and relief.

Photography: Brian Chua, Courtesy of hcreates

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