Chinachem Group is one of Hong Kong’s largest real estate developers. It has a bold mandate to bring positive benefits to the local community, people, and the planet through property development and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) stewardship.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Chinachem transformed its branding. Supporting this new stage of growth, the group envisioned an impactful workplace that would reflect its ethos and portray its mission. As the design consultant, we helped bring this new Hong Kong workplace to life.
The new headquarters needed to balance efficiency, sustainability, innovation and functionality while powering a major culture shift. The design also needed to integrate Chinachem’s new value proposition — “Creating Places with Heart”.
After carefully considering the client’s expectations and vision, our team proposed to begin the journey from the ground floor. The brand experience starts in the lobby where a lift brings people directly to the 38th floor, and continues in the reception. A homey atmosphere, greenery and a branding palette-inspired colour create a refreshing scheme.
A café forms the pulsing heart of this floor’s social hub. The counter echoes the energy of Chinachem’s repurposed values. Additionally, a one-of-a-kind tender box wall and a colourful panel inspire creativity.
Another objective was to create an environment that would foster relationships and encourage collaboration. Ultimately, the project needed an ecosystem of spaces to support people’s growth and business prosperity.
Aligning with the group’s evolved culture, the existing enclosed office plan was transformed into an open layout to support circulation and hybrid work. Staff in each department are encouraged to move around and select their preferred way of working, touching base with colleagues or ideating with larger teams. Conference room glass walls allow people to feel part of the larger office and convey a sense of transparency and participation.
The new design reduces hierarchical structure and increases sense of ownership, making people feel part of a community with a shared mission. During the brief, the CEO emphasised the importance of effective communication and teamwork. His own office is situated in the open space to connect with people.
The spine of this workplace is the staircase. Moving and connecting people across different floors, it is a crucial meeting point for different departments. Augmenting encounters ultimately improves communication and collaboration. In the old design, the central staircase connected only two floors, hindering movement, efficiency and connection. By extending it throughout all four floors, we activated the space to encourage greater social interaction.
Capturing Chinachem’s aspiration to support connection and solidify a sense of community, we created a design solution centred on socially engaging spaces. For example, next to the reception, a bar and the main staircase encourage circulation and bonding. Staff can gather here to connect, meet clients or refresh.
Social hubs are located on each one of the four floors, helping build a solid company culture. Diverse seating, greenery and amenities reinforce the core values and demonstrate that the company is dedicated to its communities.
Chinachem’s vision was to place ESG values on an equal footing to profit. This meant its headquarters needed to reflect the company’s pillars: people, prosperity, and the planet (3Ps). Built to meet LEED and WELL standards, the whole workspace supports recycling and enables waste and pollution prevention. Every element is carefully considered for its impact on people and the planet. The design features biophilic elements throughout, filtering air and creating intimate green areas to enhance health. Each floor features organic materials, adjustable facilities and smart technology.
Social hubs, natural materials, enhanced air quality, height adjustable desks and vast volumes of daylight make this space feel more like a home than a workplace. This change has transformed the working lives of those who make the company run, day to day.Chinachem Executive Director & CEO, Donald Choi
51,000 sq ft