Story by Trends Publishing
Photography by Vitus Lau
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More accustomed to finetuning the branding of client companies, this communications firm put its own workplace in the spotlight
For a company specialising in strategic media planning and brand reinforcement, a move to new premises provided an ideal opportunity to walk the talk. It also offered OMD, one of the largest and most influential media communications specialists, the chance to explore new ways of working.
MMoser Associates was commissioned to design OMD's new office in the Cyberport building – a high-tech, lifestyle location that says as much about the company as its new fit-out.
Design director Adam Mundy says OMD positions itself as the leader in its field; the move provided the opportunity to reinforce this presence in the marketplace. The building, at the western end of Hong Kong island, was designed to promote the notion of the modern, interactive work place. As well as being technologically advanced, it provides a creative environment that fits with the culture of OMD – a fun, innovative company that was looking to move away from the confines of its former offices in a traditional high-rise building.
The Cyberport location provided the designers with inspiring spaces to draw from. With offices split by an atrium walkway, and sloping glass walls, it allowed creative space planning.
"This is a non-conventional space, but it proved ideal for a company that thrives on originality and innovation," says Mundy. "OMD wanted to explore new ways of communicating. The company also wanted a sense of transparency, and an interactive, dynamic work environment that would allow ideas to flow."
The branding begins at reception, where bright graphics make a bold statement about OMD and the nature of the firm's business. A semi-transparent wall featuring large circle elements and OMD's corporate colours – red and blue – forms a backdrop to the reception desk. The transparency maximises the natural light and reinforces the sense of openness.
Project designer Annie Chan says the wall panels are opposite an expanse of windows that provide a spectacular view of the Lamma Channel.
"Integrating the environment into the design was another key part of the brief. As the sun sets, the panels become very bright, reflecting the sunset across the floor and minimising the need for internal lighting."Further graphic elements are provided by a large target with the word hello imprinted on the bull's-eye – a visual play on another corporate logo.
Over-size chess pieces in the lift lobby highlight the company's checkmate philosophy, a strategic thinking and planning approach that form the basis of the company's core business.
"The graphics in this area also integrate key words and philosophies. These can be changed easily if required," says Chan.
Further branding is evident in the atrium footbridge that links the two sides of the office.
"The footbridge is a journey that aids the transition into the main work space. Here, we took the chequerboard theme and integrated it into the handrail, effectively creating a tunnel of coloured glass."
While the reception areas have a highly polished look, the work environment has a more industrial feel.
"The extra ceiling height, the exposed mechanical services, and a raised metal floor give this area a real studio feel," says Chan. "Interactive spaces are positioned in the centre of this space, and are surrounded by a think tank of workstations. With its low-panelled 120° desks, it's a very lively, creative and challenging environment."
In addition to formal rooms for client meetings, there are several brightly decorated informal meeting areas positioned around the building, which staff are encouraged to use. The building's technology enables laptop computers to be used remotely.
To encourage the flow of ideas and creativity, meeting rooms and management offices were positioned on the outer edge of the building. All areas of the workplace are also designed to maximise the extensive sea views.
First published date: 06 April 2007
More news from Trends
|Location||OMD headquarters, Hong Kong|
|Interior designer||MMoser Associates; project designer – Annie Chan, project leader – Wendy Leung, project manager – Rick Lee, assistant designer – Portia Leung, M&E – Pak Lau, Ivan Wong, design director – Adam Mundy|
|Flooring||Plynyl and Milliken carpet from Frontier Workspace Solutions; Longlife Cord Reflex carpet from Yards Ltd|
|Wallcoverings||Maharam fabric from Fabrication Ltd; Designtex fabric from Designtex; Studio Blazer fabric from Interface Fabrics|
|Lighting||Pipe Sospensione, Castare Sospensione and Logico from Artemide; Flos from Dentro|
|Office chairs||Lamex; Life from Ultra|
|Reception sofa||Offecct from Matisse Ltd|