Unicorn Stores Offices – Hong Kong

  • Client Unicorn Stores,
  • size 6,600 sqft
  • Year 2021
  • Location Hong Kong, China,
  • Industry FMCG,
  • Bean Buro designed a modern and Japanese-inspired space for the Unicorn Stores offices in Hong Kong.

    The Brief: A headquarters for a company with heritage
    Unicorn Stores (HK) Ltd. was established in 1985 to operate a chain of department stores and supermarkets from Japan in Hong Kong, with a mission to deliver “high-quality, sincere and courteous service of a department store from Japan to customers”.

    Bean Buro was tasked with designing their headquarters which has special needs to store and review samples.

    The Narrative: A modernised courteous workplace
    We translated Unicorn Stores’ company ethos as a very general and courteous workplace for the employees. We helped them move from a traditional office setup to a contemporary workplace that is much more sociable for collaborations while being comfortable and soothing.

    The design utilises various subtle Japanese elements as inspiration.

    The Process: Infusing Japanese roots into the interior
    We researched traditional Japanese architecture and translated the ideas into simple timber joinery to create various bespoke elements, such as the reception desk, a gridded ceiling lighting system, and Japanese partition screens. Other Japanese inspirations include the use of a ‘noren’ – traditional dividers made of natural fabric, often hung in doorways and between rooms, and playful Japanese motifs in the graphic design and signages.

    The Solution: An open and integrated neighbourhood
    The entrance and reception foyer has been lined in timber to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with seating booths which can be used by visitors and employees alike in a cosy setting.

    The general workplace is an open plan, one big connecting neighbourhood with various shared furniture integrated. Enclosed meeting rooms are located in the core of the workplace with glass partitions to preserve visible connections and plants are incorporated into all the windowsills.

    Rather than enclosed offices for the departmental heads, they are instead connected to the team as part of the open plan while still retaining a level of privacy through the use of a series of bespoke acoustic partition screens with a custom textile design.

    The pantry is an informal space for the employees to relax with flexible café seating. The area also has pegged walls for sharing community information. Roller blinds are used along the pantry windows and help to strengthen the identity of the workplace through custom graphic design.

    The Challenge: A delicate balancing act
    The challenge in terms of design was striking a delicate balance of creating a very strong company identity through the use of colours, gentry, signages and still ensuring the workplace is a comfortable and soothing work setting. For example, we employed vibrant colours in the front of house reception and the pantry areas to stimulate energy for heightened social interactions but kept all the general workspaces very neutral using natural materials.

    The outcome is a workplace that embraces social, collaborative, and flexible working.

    Design: Bean Buro
    Design Team: Lorène Faure, Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui, Christina Standaloft, Isabelle Gin, Savannah Wilkins
    Contractor: Element Technologies & Supplies
    Photography: courtesy of Bean Buro