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.”
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.”