Designer Joey Ho creates a workplace in Hong Kong for international freight forwarder Speedmark, emphasising connection via an inclusive environment that bridges all departments
Joey Ho, founder of Joey Ho Design, says the most challenging part of the project to design a new office for international freight forwarder Speedmark in Hong Kong also proved to be its most satisfying, having successfully convinced the client to create an animated, connective atmosphere for an office of more than 100 staff and international visitors.
“We did not inject anything fancy which might not apply to an industry that emphasises accuracy and efficiency. Neither did we package the interiors with recyclable and green elements just for branding,” he explains. “We studied the company history carefully before their office moved. We observed how workers had to face computer monitors all the time, and hence envisioned an environment that emphasises connection.”
The main path in the office is shaped as an airport runway, emphasising the collectivism between front-line and support staff in the service chain. The contours of the sofa in the waiting area were raised to emphasise blue light boxes, while wall pendants inscribed with corporate values represent the sky, shaped by aircraft windows.
Ho’s reinterpretation of day-to-day office operations set the stage for two container-shaped spaces — a poignant reminder of the context of the logistics industry, a design element which he describes as “fun and bold”. The conference rooms are showered with natural light for outstanding transparency. Glass panels, along with simple, bright spatial arrangements, results in an open, precise impression. Adopting Speedmark’s corporate colour of blue in tinted layers to represent ocean, sky and enterprise, a platform is raised to appear afloat in the ocean, and a back-lit sky mural on the ceiling creates an impressive trompe l’oeil effect.
Ho’s emphasis on fostering a sense of belonging is reflected as much in the layout as in his choice of a simple but relaxing material palette, taking particular pride in the redevelopment of a petite pantry area into a spacious staff cafeteria — garnishing the warehouse setting with carton boxes stacked up as walls, cabinet and countertop.