|In and between boxes Atelier Peter Fong
No. 42 Huakang Street, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
In September 2016, architecture and interior design studio, LUKSTUDIO, completed the project, Atelier Peter Fong, an innovative lifestyle and work space located on the ground floor of a multistory apartment building in a residential neighborhood beside the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, China.
As the title, "In and Between Boxes," which LUKSTUDIO gave to the project suggests, it is comprised of connected parallel boxes, each individually dedicated to a café, a brainstorming/work area, and an office meeting room/lounge, respectively. Although each "box" has a different function, the designers used this simple geometric shape as a base to also explore the relationships between the spaces and the people working in them, and how they cooperate and flow within these 250 square meters.
This cohesiveness is enhanced by the clean, lean lines and light white color utilized throughout, as well as by the transparency between not only the individual spaces themselves, but also between them as a whole and the world outside, as viewed from the road through the glass windows and walls, from where the different boxes sit beneath the "floating aluminum canopy" that shelters them.
To start, the Café is a space full of hidden niches and cut-outs; elements that create sparse texture forms, provide simple seating spots and become windows which frame the outside Zen gardens surrounding the Atelier, as seem for example, in the café's white walls and pale wood elements - in the chairs, paneled walls and central bar - that all conspire in the creation of a calm and relaxed environment.
Beside the café, another in "between spaces" beckons, which is all gray walls and structural ceiling, and acts as an extension of the café, featuring seating which connects it to the outside (also leading to the brainstorming/meeting room box next to it). While white walls, terrazzo floors and simple, light wood furnishings and timber panels are repeated in here, there are no hidden nooks, just straightforward design elements such as a large white table and gray office chairs with the pizzazz in the space arising out of the wide window wall which embraces the facing street.
The same level of casual minimalism exists in the office meeting room/lounge box beside the brainstorming/workroom box, but with a twist, in the shape of a triangular cut-out entrance carved into this 3rd space which is, essentially a focal point, not only visually thanks to the rock Zen garden which can be seen through to the meeting room, also in a practical sense, as this entryway leads to both the meeting room as well as the lounge which is across the glass-walled hallway behind it.
Ultimately, Atelier Peter Fong’s straightforward and unifying design elements seem built to elicit the desired responsiveness of the people working within them and prove that innovativeness doesn't have to be complicated in order to make a strong point.