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Micro-interaction: An exploration of future office models by TOMO DESIGN

Project name:
Huanglong International Center Phase IV, Hangzhou
Architecture firm:
Hangzhou, China
Principal architect:
Design team:
Cooperative Design: Linus, ice, SIACIZIAO. Decoration Design: Tin, Maple Zhang. Brand Promotion: Xiao Fei, Angel Yiu, TOMO PR TUANTUAN, SUNSHINE PR
Built area:
About 1,000 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Uno Chan, Xiao Fei
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Hangzhou Vanke, Canhigh
Commercial › Office Building

Advancements in AI technology have surpassed human imagination, propelling the exploration of future office lifestyles and challenging conventional understanding while inspiring novel design explorations. In this project, TOMO Design draws inspiration from the emergence of "microscope" to pioneer an avant-garde design perspective.


Micro-scale effects can wield significant influence on overall experiences and environments. The concept of the project is to craft a comprehensive office environment through micro-perceptual perspectives, among landscape, architecture, interior, people, and greenery. It underscores the integration of micro-level relationships, from the perspectives of "micro-architecture," "micro-landscape," and "micro-interior," to evoke the "micro-interactions" among people in this new office environment. The aim is to create a future spatial context that is classic, relaxing, and inspiring.


Micro-boundary between exterior and interior


Through the enrichment of facade shapes, the combination of various materials, the reflective properties of metal textures, and the seamless integration of indoor and outdoor pavings, the boundary between interior and exterior spaces blurs, fostering a sense of micro-interpenetration. The natural transition of outdoor foliage, from vibrant green to autumnal yellow, mirrors the passage of the four seasons, syncing emotional pleasure with the rhythm of time. The expansive overhanging eaves maintain the simplicity of the exterior facade, while the three-dimensional transition space extend the indoor view and intensify the permeability between interior and exterior. The deep grid ceiling within the lobby add variations to the ceiling pattern, imparting a distinct character to the space with a sense of order.

Additionally, the unique skylight-like lighting accentuates the space's sculptural contours. The fluid reception desk and the enclosure interfaces complement each other, fostering social interaction within the space and encouraging natural micro-interactions among people. Light and shadow play across the striped metal sheet wall, creating dynamic micro-patterns as the light shifts. Meanwhile, the light beams extend to the floor, generating micro visual effects that evolve over time. The integrated low wall and reception desk play with each other, guiding the sight to focus from the clearly defined ceiling to the sleek floor. These innovative and futuristic elements enrich micro perceptions and complement the lively green micro-ecology.


Micro-interaction between people and space

The interpenetration of the corrugated metal backplates and the bronze stainless steel panels transcends the functional boundaries, allowing for the infinite superimposition of micro-functions. The stainless steel beneath interacts with the grid ceiling, creating a dynamic rhythm that extends boundlessly throughout the space. Sleek striped metal plates create an appropriate scale. A slender wooden board intersects with a round table, catering to both relaxation and social interaction.

Pixelated signage symbols offer a strong visual identity amidst the striped metal plates, maintaining consistency with the spatial circulation. The micro-landscape of shrubs and moss embodies a vision for future lifestyles, seamlessly integrating outdoor scenes into the interior. Innovatively designed lamps are positioned on one side of the space, reflecting light through iconic metal discs and unexpectedly creating a futuristic experience. The iconic metallic art installation suspended in the lobby captures visual attention, and fosters a sense of tension between the vertical and horizontal dimensions with the curved sofa beneath it, evoking an artistic dialogue at micro-perceptual level.

Moss follows the contours of the sofa, carefully embedded within reach. This micro-landscape brings people closer, nurturing a vibe of inclusiveness, freedom, and openness. By introducing various seating configurations, the design fully explores the social potential of the space, encouraging micro-interactions in an orderly setting. Micro-landscape of shrubs and moss is integrated into sofa and table, complemented by silver matte metal and bronze stainless steel. These elements amplify the pioneering spirit of social engagement, ushering in new forms of micro-social collaboration.


The design creates diverse movement areas within a unified space, redefining the scenography of traffic space and employing micro-architecture approach to breed potential future lifestyles. On one side of the elevator hall, stone materials define a sense of strength and stability, blending seamlessly with the diverse metal panels. Vertically textured walls with silver striped metal give the structural blocks a sense of sculpture, embodying the pursuit of refined quality in future life. The pixelated signage system attached to the walls adds interest and clarity, breaking free from conventional spatial order and facilitating fluid movement. The smooth matte metal frames intertwine with the striped stone wall, creating staggered volumes that redefine depth and sequence in the elevator hall.


Micro-experience between architecture and interior


The bathroom space, with its symmetrical layout, features a vaulted ceiling that facilitates soft light diffusion, harmonizing with the sheltered ambiance generated by the oak wood veneers. The light-colored granular terrazzo resembles oak wood, delicately engaging micro-perception along with varying light in distinct corners, thus enriching the private atmosphere. Long partitions and suspended block-like washbasins redefine spatial proportions, creating a harmonious visual effect and strengthening interaction between surfaces within the compact space. On the opposite end of the bathroom, classic dark tones, complemented by oak wood accents, establish a serene yet harmoniously organized environment.


The concept of green ecology extends to the underground garage, transforming an originally negative space into an area with a fresh sensory impact, activating the micro perception of future ecology. Above the greenery is a clean and pure ceiling, employing minimalist techniques to evoke a futuristic and upscale ambiance, setting the stage for an avant-garde spatial narrative. The innovative incorporation of moss enhances the intimate tactile experience, fostering unique micro-interactions between people and the ecology, and introducing a novel way of relaxation.

Greenery echoes with rugged suspended linear stone seating, creating a strong contrast with the matte silver metal, together producing a refined aesthetic. While technology expands the possibilities for modern workplaces, office remains crucial for nurturing trust, fostering a sense of belonging, and embodying corporate culture. In this project, TOMO Design redefines micro spatial perceptions with avant-garde elements, reshaping the connections between landscape, architecture, interior, and human. The design delves into the micro-relationships between nature and architecture, individuals and space, to explore micro-experiences within the space and discover the micro-emotions that truly resonate with people.

Grounded in an office lifestyle guided by future technological intelligence and natural ecology, the design team crafted low-carbon "micro" landscape scenes to stimulate interactions among people. TOMO's insights into "micro" social offices are expected to inspire more design innovations in the future.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

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