School's in: New workspace for Charterhouse inspired by the first day of term.

Bean Buro was tasked to design a new workplace for the Asia office of Charterhouse - one of the UK’s leading independent boarding schools since 1611.

The Asia office manages a family of Charterhouse schools in East and South East Asia. The brief was to create a collaborative working environment to foster stronger relationships with different internal and external partners while reflecting the brand’s heritage in a contemporary way that would be simple and elegant.

The space is located in the vibrant district of Wanchai, Hong Kong, in an office tower with panoramic windows to the streets. The wedge-shaped floor plan offers a flexible internal layout, with only one column in the open-plan space - a feature that was preserved in the design.

Inspired by the joy of schooling and the stimulating experience of ‘the first day of school’, Bean Buro responded with a design that is playful, colourful, and stimulating. The idea was to inject a pop of red (subtly responding to the brand colour) to stimulate social activities, against a bright and neutral backdrop for a comfortable workspace environment.

The red element, constructed in timber and red cushioned fabric, is an architectural strategy to organise and connect the different functions of the workplace. It starts in the welcoming reception space as a fabric seating bench, which continues into the general open-plan workspace.

It then turns and wraps around a feature column to form a planter element for the working neighbourhood, and along the main walls to provide ample seating opportunities for employees to chit-chat, undertake personal working or relax. Small circular tables are built into this red seating element, with pendant lights to support reading or informal meeting activities.

The long form also allows users to spatially distance themselves from each other. Each work setting is defined by a small black circular table top that is fixed to the ribbon joinery.

Natural daylight and views are prioritised for most of the employees working in the open-plan, with various collaboration spaces such as meeting rooms, open collaboration booths, focus rooms, and private offices located in the backdrop. A large sharing table is located in a spacious open pantry, equipped with AV/IT for impromptu meetings.

The material colour palette is elegantly controlled with neutral white walls, timber flooring, and a tasteful wine red fabric with black metal accents that form the key bespoke features.