IA’s successful partnership with Zonkd, provider of cut-and-sewn products to the home furnishings industry, for the design of their new Raleigh, NC, headquarters led to a discussion of the company’s workplace needs in APAC and the fact that their Shanghai project, in need of fresh energy, had come to a standstill. Fortunately, IA’s strategic partnership with Space Matrix, a Singapore based interior design and architecture firm with locations throughout APAC, proved to be the perfect solution. With its design-build capabilities, Space Matrix, as a single point of responsibility, performed both design and construction services, reducing the delivery schedule and enabling project completion within three months, an extremely short timeline. The Shanghai workplace expresses a refreshed Zonkd culture, identity, and brand with a contemporary vibrancy and excitement intended to generate enthusiasm among employees and guests as the company continues its rapid expansion.
Within weeks of engaging with Zonkd to understand its objectives and requirements, Space Matrix proposed a 100% open plan, pivoting away from the traditional layout previously proposed. Contemporary, open, multi-functional, and fluid, the design encourages activity-based work; almost half of the space allows for hot-desking or collaboration. In addition, there are phone and collaboration duck-in booths along with specific areas for focused work. Assigned seating and a variety of meeting rooms that cater to a range of user preferences are also available. Reconfigurable furniture provides flexibility and accommodates future growth.
The welcome area, replacing a traditional reception, links directly to the product showcase space and pantry, the latter’s transparent design intended to facilitate informal conversation. Together these spaces create a large social hub as a buffer between client-facing and private work areas.
Physically embodying the brand, which is based on textiles, colorful fabrics curated from the Zonkd collection are artistically exhibited on feature walls, in common corridors, and at the product/material showcase area, where a neutral, industrial palette draws attention to the bright array of fabrics. Subtly reinforcing brand, various displays feature Zonkd corporate colors.
To celebrate the company’s start-up culture (Zonkd was founded in 2017), which encourages a fun, relaxed, casual workplace experience, communal spaces align with the building façade, taking advantage of floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the city and Suzhou Creek, while providing abundant natural light that contributes to a warm hospitality vibe and employee wellness. Adding to the relaxed ambiance, comfortable lounge seating along the façade enjoys music from unobtrusive speakers.
“When Space Matrix jumped into the project, they came fully debriefed through IA, so they were readily able to understand the source of the problems and provide continuity to the design language created by IA. Having both teams supporting our cause was a tangible added value. Their global platform gave us the opportunity to meet requirements coming from our US HQ while accommodating the obligations we have to the local side.” – Jennifer Zhao, General Manager, Zonkd, Shanghai.