Asap architecture practice was asked to create a typical office fit-out for a prominent venture capital firm in Beijing. The very significant number of conference rooms requested, of all sizes, was slightly unusual, as well as the "XL" room with seating for up to 100. Given the U-shaped space, it was clear that the challenge would be to avoid interminable and dull corridors. Furthermore, the firm Zhen Fund is known for its investments in not only tech startups, but also in visionary new consumer products, thus the space needed to reflect a sense of optimism, ambition, and an embrace of the future. The program requested was also tight, relative to the space available to work with, so very free-form designs were not an option.
Much of Asap's work explores various types of curves, and so they began to explore how that might impact this design as a solution. While seemingly inefficient at first glance, the curving glass conference rooms that became the signature of this project actually accomplished several things: they avoided the monotony of dreaded long, double-loaded corridors; they immediately gave the design a bold and visionary quality, deriving as much from the forms as from the ever-changing reflections and refractions they created.
Photo: Jonathan Leijonhufvud