This agile, comfortable destination by Bean Buro puts the emphasis on a soothing and encouraging environment – the perfect place for learning about the retail trade.
May 17th, 2022
In a high rise building in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, Bean Buro has carefully crafted a new retail academy that successfully dials up the luxe factor while celebrating raw talent.
The studio’s client is one of the world’s leading luxury goods groups, globally represented through numerous franchises and boutiques across various businesses such as jewellery, watches, leather and accessories.
“Our concept was to create an agile and comfortable environment for learning about the retail trade. We believe users would be much more encouraged to interact in the training environment if they feel relaxed,” says Lorène Faure, co-founder of Bean Buro.
Upon entering, visitors are immediately presented with a variety of friendly options for how they would like to spend time in the space – exuding comfort for a relaxed learning environment for the sales associates, boutique management, retail management and critical talents training in the academy.
“We did not want to promote overstimulation with excessive forms, colours and textures. Thus, it was about striking a delicate balance between creating a soothing natural architectural setting and injecting just the right amount of colour to create an encouraging learning environment,” says Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui, co-founder of Bean Buro.
The ‘hero’ of the design is the space’s openness – comprising a lounge on one side with a bookshelf and on the other side a large multifunctional space with loose furniture for events.
There’s is a strong orientation towards Victoria Harbour on one side, enabling users to benefit from the generous view, with co-working spaces that embrace the natural daylight.
“Additionally, there is an arc in the floor plan of the building, so we created a curved bar compromised of multiple tables put together to form a strong architectural setting that complements the existing curve,” Faure says.
Larger training rooms can be partitioned into smaller interconnected training rooms through operable walls or further opened to create an event space to fit up to 150 users. There are also two typical training rooms and a theatre space with stepped platforms and comfortable cushions facing a smart board for a casual and stimulating learning environment. Additionally, there are small offices for managers and staff.
To respond to their client’s pursuit to discover ‘raw talents to be developed’, Bean Buro translated raw materiality into refined, curated pieces throughout.
For example, a muted red is used in the space, from the stained timber—contained by a datum line—in the reception to the acoustic wall panels in the theatre. A locally produced bespoke rug with pops of colour also features in the reception, while the carpet in the theatre is made of recycled fishnets.
Luxurious accents are included in the bespoke joinery too, such as the metallic gold finish of the entrance, bookshelf and pantry, which not only respond to the context of the client’s businesses, but also add a touch of maturity to reflect their brand identity.
To keep the project sustainable, minimal built-in elements were used preferring flexible loose furniture that can be reused in the future for a different space and setting. A local brand was used for much of the office furniture, including desks, office chairs, lockers and cabinets. “For example, the bespoke bar table in the event space can be moved around to create other arrangements,” Kinugasa-Tsui says.
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