Rethinking Office Spaces

X+Living creates a space in Shenzhen, China, which can accommodate multiple companies while offering every employee individuality thus debunking the myth that “co-working” is just a synonym for “low-cost workspace”.

The chief designer of X+Living, Li Xiang, integrated artistic aesthetics and interesting visual effects into the four-storey space, for Unova Working Space and differentiated the tone and style of each floor based on functions.

The first floor serves as the lobby and reception area, with two entrances. The main area of the lobby on the south side functions as the main entrance, from which people can reach the workspace, while the north area features an entrance leading to the dining space featuring a striking installation resembling a hot-air balloon.

An atrium runs through the overall space. The window panes were embedded into the interior wall, making it appear to be the facade.

“When the escalator rises and passes through each floor, people can enjoy varying visual experiences,” says Li Xang.

The second-floor functions as the dining space. Colourful background walls, combined with interesting dining-related furniture and installations, adding visual appeal to the space that allows interaction among people, space and articles.

The third floor is a small work space, targeted at young groups. The space around the two escalators is used as a public reception area, which is connected with the shared conference room and resting area, and separated from the office that requires privacy and needs to be sound proof. Such clear spatial layout makes the visual point focused, and facilitates future operation and management.

The third floor is accessible by taking the escalator from the lobby, people will be firstly welcomed by the words “Work Hard” on a show window, and then see the public reception area with ludicrous artworks behind this.

“X+LIVING has utilized elements of gym equipment in the space to convey the idea of keeping a healthy work-life balance. The champagne gold horizontal bars and rings are very eye-catching, enriching the spatial experience. Chairs were designed with diversified forms and shapes for the sake of serving different needs, including social interaction, leisure, learning and being alone if the need be,” says Li.

X+LIVING designed several rugs in the public reception area, which not only echo the paintings on the walls but also make the space visually attractive. The head part of Vincent Van Gogh‘s self-portrait and hands of Mona Lisa indicate the washrooms for males and females.

Passing through the reception area, people will come to the shared conference room and the telephone-booth-shaped resting rooms. The fourth floor is a large workspace for the elite workgroups following the same layout as the third floor. The space near the escalators also functions as a public reception area, with the large office area surrounding it, so that employees of each company can reach their working area very conveniently. The overall space on this floor is sedate with the use of wood veneers and grey-brown concrete coating in a large area. The furniture was designed in a minimalist style. Besides, elements of exercise equipment can be found in this space as well, reminding people to pay attention to physical health after work.


Location: Shenzhen, China

Area: 8800 m2

Completion time: December 2018

Design company: X+LIVING

Chief designer: Li Xiang

Project directors: Ren Lijiao, Wu Feng

Customized furniture: XiangCASA

Participating designers: Qian Huilan, Chen Xue, Luo Ziyan

Photography: Shao Feng, Zhou Yuqiang, Hu Yijie