PwC Playlab

PwC Playlab

Architect
M Moser Associates
Location
Beijing, China | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Offices
Vitus Lau

PwC Playlab

M Moser Associates as Architects

In setting up its new office in the Beijing Electronics Zone, PwC’s main objective was to create an inspiring space for teams to communicate and collaborate, while reflecting the business’ philosophy of humanisation, digitalisation, security, flexibility, efficiency and environmental protection. The new space sets the standard for innovative, optimised office space to support business development and new ways of thinking.

 

In close collaboration with PwC, the M Moser team designed the 6,000 metre-squared space across three-stories. Adopting a “PlayLab” concept, each floor has a unique theme, integrating flexible working, smart technology, wellbeing and sustainability to create an immersive, memorable experience.

 

Breaking traditions to support innovation

The project looked to replace conventional office design thinking with a new shared office philosophy to strengthen PwC’s entrepreneurial culture.

The “PlayLab” concept aims to:

  • Improve the vitality and creativity of the space, through a warm, pleasant atmosphere;
  • Design a highly flexible layout that would promote experimentalism and the evolution of working patterns.

Design elements such as neon lights, original hand-painted murals, swimming pool-themed coffee areas and outdoor gardens, create unforgettable experiences that leave an imprint of PwC’s innovative spirit.

 

 

Enabling flexibility and freedom of choice

The space is used by six different PwC departments, with significant differences in working patterns. The challenge was to meet a variety of working demands and maximise the efficiency of the space, while keeping the office flexible and open. The design team discarded the conventional “factory-style” layout, and introduced social areas, collaboration zones and rest spaces with a streamlined design that supports employees to meet, chat, relax, and discuss.

 

Five key design themes align with the defined working patterns of each department: Focus, Align, Socialise, Create and Learn. Replacing static and fixed workstations with collaborative desks, modular furniture, and multiple forms of movable workstations create a flexible, unifying environment for concentration, brainstorming and teamwork.

 

Enhancing vertical connectivity for social sharing

Based on the “PlayLab” concept, the design team created a unique theme for each floor, each accentuated by neon lights: The Plaza, PwC Lab and The Market Place.

 

The reception area is carefully positioned in the middle of the three floors to enhance alignment, collaboration and sharing between departments. It creates a necessary boundary for the interaction between upper and lower floors. A hanging logo in the reception creates depth and vitality. A hand-painted version of Along the River During the Qingming Festival rendered with PwC characters at the entrance highlights rooms throughout the space in an interesting and interactive way.

 

The lower two floors are connected by indoor staircases. The upper floor leads to the coffee area, while the lower floor is connected to the multi-functional training room. This creates a vertically connected and multi-functional community complex that meets socialising, training, meeting, negotiation, and leisure needs within a compact area.

 

The upper floor takes full advantage of its outdoor sky garden, with a swimming pool-themed coffee area. This creates organic interaction between interior and exterior, humans and nature.

 

 

Applying digital intelligence

As an expert in office technology solutions, M Moser provided PwC with intelligent hardware to visually showcase how the space is being used. This included displaying the workplace booking system on navigation screens. Equipped with smart sensors that indicate which seats are occupied, the workstations can help employees use office resources more efficiently.

Intelligent office systems for lighting, air conditioning and air quality reduce energy consumption and contribute to sustainability, bringing a seamless, intelligent experience to users.

Environmental elements such as lockers and house numbers have been introduced, serving both function and aesthetic.

 

Designing for sustainability and wellbeing

Designed to meet WELL Silver and LEED Gold Certifications, this is the first PwC project worldwide to apply for WELL. Through the use of intelligent lighting control systems, integrated air purification systems, ergonomic furniture and diversely arranged workstations, the space provides employees with a comfortable, people- centric environment.

 

The roof garden on the top floor is a highlight of the project. The design brings spatial and visual variety and takes employees on a lively natural journey with a combination of diverse plants. This interactive environment conducive to physical and mental health is an impressive showcase space for staff and visitors alike.

 

In close collaboration with PwC, M Moser has created a memorable “PlayLab” that encourages sharing and innovation, empowering employees through smart technology. Prioritising employee health and wellness to boost satisfaction, the new space is a hub for experimentation and talent attraction.

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