Architecture firms draw on data, human behaviour to shape workspaces, reduce stress

By Cheryl / | April 22, 2019 6:52 PM SGT
Can architectural design help companies keep their employees happy and healthy? One Space and sister firms UNStudio and UNSense certainly believe so, and use data to understand the behaviour of end users of a space.
"By understanding behaviours and design settings, we can set business culture, and business culture really is a driver of success in any kind of business. So, in a way, you're kind of introducing why design can make a difference," says Greg Pearce, the managing director of Hong Kong-based One Space.
Every company has a different business culture, and taking the time to understand this culture and finding a solution based upon this culture, is how design helps companies, he adds.
The use of data was also critical in light of offices moving out of Hong Kong's Central district to other business districts in the city, Pearce says.
One Space worked on design, engineering and management consultancy Arcadis's regional headquarters in Hong Kong, and its 78,000 sq ft premises in Two Harbour Square, Kwun Tong were recognised by Human Resources magazine as one of 2018's "most inspiring workspaces", and more recently as "sustainability achievement of the year" by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
An artist's impression of the Lyric Theatre Complex, which is to come up in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The building was designed by UNStudio. Photo: Handout
The new regional headquarters were built after Amsterdam-based Arcadis acquired three other companies, and the challenge was to create a facility for 900 staff members working across various teams and lines of work.
The three-storey workplace is designed for activity-based working and to promote collaboration and flexibility, allowing staff members to choose where they work and how they utilise space.
One Space interviewed staff members to understand the nature of work performed by the four businesses to achieve this.
"The word I got from the...