A blend of minimalist form, simple but compelling materials and unlimited transparency defines the new Hong Kong office of Natixis, a corporate and investment bank.
There is more than one way to look at the cloistered architecture of the traditional banking environment. While the design intention may be to establish an atmosphere of hushed security, solidity and permanence, the same highly cellularised interior might sometimes imply something quite different, such as secrecy and opacity.
For Natixis, it was these less than desirable implications that spurred a decisive shift in the design of their new Hong Kong office. Replacing the bank's original three non-consecutive floors in Hong Kong's Admiralty district, the project for the new office evolved as a direct contrast to the old: a consolidated, contiguous workspace with few internal barriers to communication or circulation.
The customer experience offered by the new office would be similarly transformative, with a contemporary front-of-house reception/meeting suite designed to welcome visitors into a world of forward-looking confidence, openness and integrity. A further requirement for the project was achieving LEED Platinum-level sustainability.