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Located in the XiXi Wetland Park of Hangzhou in Eastern China, Y20 is a mixed use office space surrounded by natural scenery and features a unique Y-shaped interior layout.
Property owner Alcai Technology had envisioned the 700 square meters of Y20 Space as more than just an office building, but a community space for work, business conferences and events, before entrusting the task to WJ Design.
Lead designer Leo Hu adopted a practical approach in design. He believes that design should be experiential where the users’ experience to a space is more important than its form. “Space is invisible but it is as rich as life and full of dynamic just like a breeze, you can’t see it but you can always feel it. This is a kind of new work environment [experience] to bring to people,” says Hu.
From the get-go, the building enjoys a prominent location, overseeing the scenic XiXi Wetland. The challenge was to re-think the concept of a traditional office while maximizing the site’s geographic location to enhance the users’ experience in a shared space for work.
For the entrance, the design team converted it into a sunken yard for people to lounge and enjoy the surrounding landscape. Partial walls in white offer some privacy and a view inside the building via a full height glazing.
Another entrance is crafted at the side of the building. Its tunnel-like path aims to convey an intimate sense of space. Walking through the end of the channel, one discovers an open and light-filled interior space in contrast to the narrow entrance.
A white palette complements the greenery outside
The team used a predominantly white colour palette, lots of wood and wall glazing to accentuate a light-filled space. Interior decoration is pared back as neutral canvass to showcase and enjoy the lush greenery outside.
Due to the limitations of the construction, some parts of the interior space are relatively narrow and lack sunlight. The wall glazing allow a connection between the indoor space and the outdoor environment and bring an open view for the people inside.
Since building has a generous height inside, sound-absorbing walls are installed to reduce any echoes and generally pad the space into a conducive environment for work. Where there are windows, the team added seating and desk tops as alternative work spaces to enjoy the view.
While the building went through a massive overhaul, some elements are preserved for its intrinsic qualities. The series of holes in various sizes at one side of the building are preserved as unique windows to the beautiful views outside.
Hu pointed out that the quiet and warm atmosphere in Y20 Space is like a natural gift to let its users enjoy, explore and seek the spaces within. Y20 Space is shortlisted in 2018 INSIDE awards in the office category.
Photography by Qiang Shen