People in Glass Houses… Office Building by MVRDV
This building, which was planned by the Dutch architecture studio MVRDV, is above all meant to signal transparency in the workplace. Over 18,000 m², the glass house serves as a flagship project for new business activities and thus links the industrial character of the neighbourhood with an urban future. The lower floors will become home to shops and restaurants.
The old factory was clad in concrete and gloomy. The architect gutted the building down to its skeleton and then worked exclusively with glass, stainless steel and white paint in order to achieve the present lightness and transparency. Even the furniture and elevators are made of glass.
“We are moving towards a transparent society. Companies are opening up to the outside and people are more interested in what goes on behind closed doors,” says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “The renovation was a new chance for the building, in its current incarnation with a glass façade, to serve as a memento of the industrial history of the quarter.” Despite its significant amounts of glass, the building consumes about 17 per cent less energy every year compared to other office buildings in Hong Kong.