This Creative Office Design Fosters Collaboration in Shanghai

2022 Best of Year Winner For Firm’s Own Office: International

Founded by Lei Fang in 2009, multidisciplinary firm One House Design has built up a diverse project portfolio that includes offices, residential developments, model apartments, homes, and a full complement of hospitality-inflected restraurants and gallery-esque retail environments—all rather genre-bending. Think loft apartments that look like luxury hotels, sales centers that could be mistaken for a concept store…you get the drift. The studio’s own headquarters joyfully obfuscates its true purpose in a similar manner. Step into the moody, obsidian-drenched reception, with its sculptural spiral stair, and you might think you’ve arrived at an art gallery or some minimalist corporate retreat complex and, actually, you would not be that far from the truth.

In addition to providing private and communal workspaces for dozens of staffers, the 25,000-square-foot bilevel aerie, in a building by late Italian postmodernist Vittorio Gregotti, doubles as an event space and an exhibition hub to showcase One House’s own furniture pieces and more conceptual investigations. A salon area populated with cubical timber stools can be adjoined to or partitioned off from the adjacent meeting zone (by way of sliding doors), and confabs can trickle into the neighboring wood-paneled dining zone, furnished with a mix of bar, table, and lounge seating. While expansive windows and multiple terraces throughout provide a strong connection to nature, the interior architecture’s play of solids and voids, long sight lines and filtered views toys with one’s sense of perception. Design trickery aside, it’s a super functional and flexible space that suits the times—and the firm’s future, Fang says, “providing sufficient space for the team’s growth and helping us adapt to new challenges faced by our developing industry.”

Wooden boxes offer seating in the reception area of this office
An open-air rooftop patio overlooks leafy green trees
A dark gray spiral staircase adds a sculptural element in the office lobby
This creative office design features floor-to-ceiling windows and custom furnishings

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