April 30, 2020

Quarta & Armando Creates Multifunctional Shanghai Space

Seeposh pendants hang above a bar and custom table with Senchuan dining chairs. Photography by Peter Dixie/LOTAN.

When does an office space become a showroom—or, for that matter, a dining room? When it’s the new Shanghai headquarters for ceramics and tabletop specialist Home Base International, for which Quarta & Armando Architectural Design Research integrated all three zones, along with ample meeting and social areas for employees, into an airy, two-story 5,700-square-foot space.

“They wanted a clean and sophisticated space where the product was the protagonist,” says managing partner and director Michele Armando. From this principle, she notes, emerged a design dominated by neutral colors “where employees and customers could feel comfortable and have a different space for every need.”

A custom desk forms the reception area, beyond which rises a platform for meetings and events with seating by Senchuan. Photography by Peter Dixie/LOTAN.

Those needs include a bar and dining space for entertaining with the products, along with private meeting areas tucked into glazed volumes and showrooms with backlit display units. Upstairs, some 38 workstations fill the open-plan office. “The study of the partitions and the light of the space were decisive,” says Armando, but as for the palette, it comes back to the product: “The ceramics themselves undoubtedly influenced us on the choice of surface colors.”

Two floors of glazed offices with powdercoated steel frames sit next to reception. Photography by Peter Dixie/LOTAN.
The showroom includes custom display units in MDF with oak veneer and white laminate; the chairs are by TON. Photography by Peter Dixie/LOTAN.
Corridors offer views of the varying display unit heights. Photography by Peter Dixie/LOTAN.
A storage and pantry unit separates a row of meeting areas from the open workplan office filled with custom desks and Seeposh pendants and LED fixtures. Photography by Peter Dixie/LOTAN.

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