For the headquarters of RayData in Beijing, Austrian Studio Precht designs a space that combines technology and tactility. Through an undulated partition, the space creates a balance of openness and private areas.
‘Smart City Construction’ – assembling, processing and representing urban data – emerges from the significant context of today’s information era and shows a rapidly developing potential. RayData is a pioneering company that integrates and visualizes urban data. Its Beijing headquarter is located in the iconic Poly International Plaza that was designed by SOM. RayData occupies the entire 19th floor of the elliptical skyscraper, and invited Austrian architectural studio Precht to create its interior design.
▼项目概览，preview © CreatAR Images
Circulation and Layout
▼平面图，plan ©Studio Precht
The design incorporates 2 distinctive features of the building itself: its elliptical shape is used to create a softness to its interior and the its dia-grid facade inspired the zig-zag layout of the space. The closed loop floor plan and a stunning panoramic view of the city while dividing the entire floor into two functional areas of south and north.The north area is mainly used as a space for employees, offices and meeting rooms, while the south area serves the more public spaces with reception exhibition and show rooms.
▼闭环式的平面带来城市全景，the closed loop floor plan and a stunning panoramic view of the city © CreatAR Images
▼办公区域呈折线式布局，the office area has a zig-zag layout © CreatAR Images
Atmosphere and Design
The distinction between north and south becomes clear when entering the floor: While the darker route of a black an grey hallway suggests path towards the private office area, a bright white corridor takes visitors to the more public spaces. After passing the corridors, the interior atmosphere has an intriguing ‘reversal’: While the office area’s color changes into a light hue that helps employees maintain a relaxed mood, the show rooms darken their color tone. Deep-hued walls and carpeting reduce the space’s light, in order to magnify the thematic effect of the large screen and interactive site model.
▼接待前台，reception © CreatAR Images
▼颜色轻快的办公区域为员工营造出轻松的氛围， the office area’s light color helps employees maintain a relaxed mood © CreatAR Images
▼黑色调的展示间，the show rooms darken their color tone © CreatAR Images
▼交互式场地模型， the interactive site model © CreatAR Images
▼会议室，meeting room © CreatAR Images
Openness and Privacy
The triangulated layout connects to the logo of RayData and is a consistent design language that visually connects all areas throughout the floor plan. It also appears on door-handles, furnitures and light fixtures.
▼三角形元素提供了统一的设计语言，the triangle element was used as a consistent design language © CreatAR Images
In most parts, the interior has a free and open spatial layout that is intended to create a user-friendly office atmosphere. Many of its areas have sofa sets and hammocks that are provided for employees to rest. On corners of the triangulated work area are multiple enclosed booths for phone-calls or small meetings. This layout provides a good balance of open-office areas and the possibility to retreat. It also creates a smooth division between different team-configurations. Each team has its own ‘corner-office’.
▼财务室，accountant office © CreatAR Images
▼办公区域细部，office area detailed view © CreatAR Images
▼隔间和电话亭，the enclosed booths © CreatAR Images
Material, Color and Technology
The main material of the design is textile for haptic and acoustic reasons. It creates a certain softness to the space that harmonises with the undulating shapes of the layout. A grey-colored woven carpeting and dark fabric partition walls are contrasting the elevated glass divisions. Maps of different cities are engraved on the glass partitions and the use of LED lighting creates a unique atmosphere of the AI-era office.
▼覆盖以织物的隔墙为空间赋予了独特的柔和感，textile creates a certain softness to the space © CreatAR Images
As a tech-company, the interior design also features cutting edge technology. Throughout the space are human motion sensors and temperature sensors. The interior lighting automatically adjusts itself in a timely manner based on exterior brightness.
▼走廊，corridor © CreatAR Images
“With all the advancing technology in the space, we were looking how to bring a human touch and haptic materials to the design. I don’t believe that the future of offices will look like your ‘WeWork’-living room nor like your sci-fi white-plastic fluid-space. For this project, I think the movie ‘Her’ was a source of inspiration, which connects technology with a very warm and tactile atmosphere,” says Fei Precht.
▼公共休息区，recreational area © CreatAR Images
▼办公空间，office area © CreatAR Images
“I think we need this balance of technology and tactility”, adds Chris Precht. “The tasks of tech companies is to ask ‘how can we know more’ and to transform this knowledge into information or products. The tasks of architects on the other hand, is to ask ‘how we can feel more’. Yes, information and knowledge is important for the future. But so is consciousness and the connection to our senses. I think that’s an interesting balance.”
▼私人办公室，private office © CreatAR Images
▼室内细节，detailed view © CreatAR Images
▼布局示意，diagram ©Studio Precht
▼概念平面，conceptual plan ©Studio Precht
▼轴测图，axon ©Studio Precht
By: Studio Precht
Project name: RayData Headquarters
Project team: Fei Tang Precht, Chun Chen, Zizhi Yu, Chengcheng Liu, Yanyan Gu, Mei Li, Chris Precht
Structural Consultant: Haifeng Li
Lighting Consultant: Yuebo Min
Construction Team: Beijing Million Partner Construction Company ltd
Carpet Design in Booth: Florian Pucher, Bo Liu
Furniture Supplier: Hay, Matsu, Human Scale
Carpet Supplier: Bolon
Photographer: CreatAR images
Text: Sharon Wang, Chris Precht
SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: @chrisprecht @studioprecht