The leading authority for the Architecture & Design community
January 28, 2021
Text: Carlene Olsen
Hong Designworks Combines Unexpected Colors and Sensibilities at a Xi’an Office
When Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO tasked Hong Designworks with creating a contemporary workspace in Xi’an, China, the design team found an imaginative way to incorporate the brand’s primary material—leather. The space, awash in golden hues and soft shapes, features an eye-catching leather brick installation in the reception area that also serves as a nod to the city’s centuries-old walls. Each multi-colored brick is impermanent, functioning as a gift box visitors can keep, enabling the wall to undulate and take on new forms over time.The various colors also represent distinct phases in the company’s leather-making process, while bringing to mind the patina of natural brick.
That same notion of fluidity is evident throughout the space. “Nature and rhythm are the sources of inspiration for ECCO, and provide the power for continuous innovation,” the designers said, noting that these ideas shaped the overall aesthetic. The airy workspace, complete with a rest area and VIP lounge, incorporates natural elements, such as a striking suspended wooden table in the break room, as well as materials used by ECCO during the shoemaking process. Each area represents a cultural exchange, paying homage to ECCO’s Danish roots as well as the history of its new locale in Xi’an and, ultimately, blending shoemaking traditions with modern sensibilities.