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Forum Stairs

John van de Water, Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers met Wopke Schaafstal, Chen Song, Wang Yuan, Dou Jing Jing
HAYA group ed.
Beijing, Third east Ringroad
8000 m2

The project brief asked for a interior design for a young and ambitious Chinese architecture company in Beijing, China. The company had acquired five floors of a new office building. Each floor was to be organized with individual departments.
The design aims to address two key issues. Firstly it aims to create conditions to stimulate creativity. And secondly it aims to questions creativity in relation to Chinese office hierarchy. Based on Confucianist values, typically Chinese offices are organized according to strict hierarchy.
This office as well, was to be organized ‘segregated,’ on independent floors. In our
view, hierarchy would exclude creativity and as such, the very foundation of an architecture office.

The design starts from the conviction that creativity benefits from exchange. Conditions for creativity arise where there is maximum exchange possible between people and ideas. In order to to make this possible, two forum shaped staircases are introduced in the center of the office floors. The two circular shaped forums connect logistically and visually all floors. In China, a circular shape symbolizes unity and harmony. From our added perspective, anybody that uses the stair, automatically finds himself the be the center of the forum.
More than a just connection, the forums aims to functions as central meeting points of the
company. Next to informal meetings, the forums can be used for a myriad of activities like temporary exhibitions and Chinese celebrations. To our surprise, the forum space is now used for birthday parties as well.