Serene Corridors

An elegant new office space for Changsha-based China Resources Center finds harmony between modern aesthetics and traditional values

A calm, inviting ambience conjures up pleasant emotions and is key to spaces that people respond favourably to. The China Resources Center, designed by Shenzhen-based Rongor Design & Consultant, demonstrates an understanding and mastery of just this.

Located in Changsha, the capital city of China’s Hunan Province, the new office space resembles an ethereal utopia and drew inspiration from the Eastern Jin dynasty poet Tao Qian’s piece Peach Blossom Spring. ‘We believe that there is a peach blossom garden in everyone’s heart,’ says Qin Yueming, founder and design director of Rongor Design & Consultant. ‘Though it’s not tangibly accessible, the rationale underneath can be perceived and experienced.’

The client’s brief was simple but concise, calling for a well-balanced environment that embodies oriental values through modern components. From there, Qin and his team approached the interior design from a traditional Chinese perspective, applying layers and spaces that gradually reveal themselves, unfolding to eventually reveal an interior courtyard with grace.

Circular landscaping stones resonate with curated art pieces, depicting mountains and rivers in traditional shanshui form and beckoning visitors in for further discoveries. The interior palette is comprised of versatile materials such as marble, wood, metal mesh and stainless steel, while a cool colour palette expresses a modern design language. By working with elements from both traditional and contemporary worlds, a sculptural peach blossom garden has taken form.  

The creative team also sought to imbue the space with expressions of humanity. ‘There are specific dispositions and expressions in different spaces, which would greatly affect a person’s psychological state and behavior,’ explains Qin. ‘It’s our role to employ such expressions and determine what message we deliver to the audiences.’

A long, narrow corridor offset by two miniature pavilions and sculptural wall dividers — inspired by intricate latticework and made of sleek convex-concave acrylic — encourages passersby to slow down and appreciate the surroundings; on one end is a lofty project model area, distinguished by a sprawling ceiling installation that mimics the swirling petals of a peach tree blossom, recently liberated. Such a dramatic change in the spatial scale induces a calming effect, according to Qin.  

Other highlights include several richly appointed break out spaces for meetings and reading nooks, which continue the theme of a harmonious marriage between present day practicality and traditional delicacy. ‘The two aspects have no contradiction. Ancient values were modern once, modern elements will become traditional as time goes by,’ says Qin. ‘To master the art of balance is to respect and restrain the two aesthetics.’

Text / Nikey Cheng
Images / Courtesy of Sunshine PR