Glass office complex offers retail, restaurants

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has transformed a Hong Kong factory into a glass office complex with restaurants and retail outlets.

It stripped the old industrial building down to its bare bones and uses only glass with stainless-steel infill to build up the interior spaces.

Glass-Office-by-MVRDV 1In Wai Yip Street on the Kwun Tong waterfront, the 18,000 sqm  project is part of an urban development scheme that aims to turn the post-industrial district of East Kowloon into Hong Kong’s new central business district (named CBD2). The project was commissioned in 2013 by developer GAW Capital.

The office building’s theme of transparency extends to its interior with glass tables, shelves, floors, speakers, computers, walls – an entirely glass office. There are even glass lifts in glass shafts, and the fire stairs are encased in fire-resistant glass.

As a factory, the building had concrete walls and tiny windows at the rear. This has been stripped back and replaced with glazing.

Glass-Office-by-MVRDV 2


“We are moving into a transparent society, businesses are becoming more open with the public, and people care more about what goes on behind closed doors,” says MVRDV co-=founder Winy Maas. “In that way, a clear workspace leaves nothing questionable, nothing hidden; it generates trust.”

Below the offices there are two floors for restaurants while the ground floor is for retail outlets. A rooftop space, as well as balconies on each floor, offer views over the waterfront.

Despite large amounts of glass, the building has been designed to deliver 17 per cent lower annual energy consumption as well as 15 per cent lower peak electricity demand compared to average offices in Hong Kong.

In the later stages of the project, MVRDV started working in partnership with co-architect Arch-Innovativ.


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