Mafengwo Office Space Design – Second Stage
- SYN Architects
- Building C15, Hengtong International Innovation Park, 9 Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang District, 100015 北京
- 1-5 pisos
- Zou Yingxi, Xia Fuqiang, Cao Zhenzhen, Liu Tingting, Feng Yan
Mafengwo Office Space Design – Second Stage:
An embrace between the Internet and human nature
The present design was completed as an urban reconstruction project with both many restrictions and heartfelt aspirations present at the same time.
The project is located in Beijing, China, inside the Hentong International Innovation Park on Chaoyang District. Its predecessor was a flat floor, five meters high, 80 meters long and 20 meters wide factory building on the east side of the park. The exterior of the overall structure could not be widened or elevated due to restrictions by the park that prohibit such modifications. Still, we had to create a professional workspace for 300 people, with recreational areas and a warehouse to store e-commerce products. Furthermore, the design needed to convey the business philosophy and corporate culture of the company. Therefore, we decided to start with the essence of the building space.
The “cloud”, a keyword widely used in modern Internet technology circles, brings to mind features such as freedom and imagination, the ideal starting point for our design.
Our priority was to solve the spatial scale problem of the structure. We created a new functional space by digging an area under the building within its own perimeter. Furthermore, we analyzed the number of people working in the structure and the functional requirements of their environment, thus dividing space into three floors. Due to the long and narrow dimensions of the overall space, an open channel running from south to north, based at one fourth of the total structural length, was created on all three floors, improving communication among people working in the building, while ensuring concentration in the core area and creating efficient and free movement lines.
Combined and networked flat features integrate the layout of “the cloud”. Passages running from south to north on the first and second floors, far-reaching towards the outdoors provide a creative mezzanine layout. Through careful study of the structure, the thickness of the mezzanine was reduced as much as possible while ensuring safety, thus providing “the cloud” with a light texture and floating appearance, as well as increasing the height of the upper and lower floors. The implementation by sections of the mezzanine provides a coherent second floor, and its vertical interconnection on the east and west sides relieves the overall feeling of been confined to small spaces caused by the height of the floors. It is possible to reach the natural skylight on the first floor from both sides. This feature also balances the visual comfort of the space. While “the cloud” is the core of the design, the concept further becomes the soul of the spatial layout.
Materials and craftsmanship
Mafengwo presents a calm atmosphere granted by technology and the warmth brought by human nature. Yet we retained the industrial style provided by steel frames. Cement floors provide the coolness and enthusiasm of internet companies. At the same time, bamboo is the main material used besides the basic elements of a building, to deliver an atmosphere of human nature and warmth proper of a social network. The ceiling on the first floor is covered by a bamboo weaving structure that portrays the local traditional spirit. The weaving extends upwards, reaching the outside of the platform of the mezzanine, interacting with the materials used on the second floor. Irregular bamboo structures spread in an orderly manner through the edge of the mezzanine, to deliver an integral interpretation of order and freedom. Under the warmth of such a pleasant material, the flattened cloud elements add full texture to the project.
Today, the final materialization of the project complies with the norms of its surroundings, and fully satisfies the needs of the client. Indeed, the project shares both, our philosophy and practice of design.