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ARK Creates new HQ for Maxim's in Hong Kong

by Simon Yuen on Dec 15, 2016 in Architecture
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The entrance of the building is distinguished by a large cantilevered glass canopy hung above the street, with a ribbon-like curve steel beam to echo the façade (All images courtesy of ARK)

The entrance of the building is distinguished by a large cantilevered glass canopy hung above the street, with a ribbon-like curve steel beam to echo the façade (All images courtesy of ARK)

Hong Kong-based design firm ARK has created the new headquarters for leading food and beverage company Maxim's Group, combining environmentally-friendly features with a glass façade

A long, long time ago, Cheung Sha Wan was a beach. Many years and much reclamation later, the area was turned into today's familiar industrial and residential district, now getting something of a facelift thanks to a variety of shiny new commercial towers springing up.

One of these belongs to Maxim's Group, renowned in Hong Kong for everything food-related, from cake shops, moon cakes and dim sum to fast-food outlets and family dining. Launched 60 years ago by ST Wu and his brother James with a single restaurant in Central serving western cuisine, Maxim's is today the largest restaurant group in Hong Kong, thanks in part to a decision to expand beyond Chinese restaurants in 2000, when it moved into a variety of cuisines such as Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese.

When the building is viewed from different perspectives, the lines on the façade appear to change due to their irregular shape, even though they are actually evenly spaced

When the building is viewed from different perspectives, the lines on the façade appear to change due to their irregular shape, even though they are actually evenly spaced

As one of the leading food and beverage companies in Hong Kong, Maxim's wanted to bring all its operations together onto a single site, turning to Hong Kong-based design firm ARK to design its new headquarters. Fortunately, Maxim's had recently decommissioned one of its food factories on Cheung Shun Street in Cheung Sha Wan, making it the ideal site for the construction of its new premises.

Spanning about 18,000 sq-m, the new 27-storey grade A office tower houses Maxim's various operations which had previously been spread across Hong Kong. Housing general offices, training centres, conferences areas and executive floors, ARK also included a gymnasium, staff food court and other facilities, along with green spaces, into its design.

The mullion feature is a continuation of the glass surface, capturing light differently depending on the angle of the sun

The mullion feature is a continuation of the glass surface, capturing light differently depending on the angle of the sun

The design of Maxim's Centre aims at expressing Maxim's corporate culture — a mix of tradition and forward-thinking — and showcasing environmentally-friendly features, mainly through its façade. The building form is that of a generic rectangular volume, a normal but practical layout for commercial towers, with rounded corners to express the continuation of surface and space.

As with other commercial buildings, the podium serves as the public zone, engaging the street with a three-storey glass wall revealing the entrance lobby atrium inside, effectively forming a show window between the public and commercial sector. The entrance of the building is completed by a large cantilevered glass canopy hung above the street, with a ribbonlike curve steel beam to echo the intriguing façade.

This is an excerpt from the “All Under One Roof" article from the December 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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