Timothy Oulton’s Inspirational HQ
– 22 Apr. 2016 –
From the moment you set foot in Timothy Oulton’s headquarters, greeted by the leather-padded walls of the dramatically lit entrance, it’s clear you’re stepping into a unique and creative world that’s light years away from your average office. The daring furniture and interiors company has transformed this once ordinary commercial space, in Hong Kong’s Wong Chuk Hang area, into a dynamic and inspiring hub where modern, industrial accents mix with a playful, vintage British spirit. Welcome to the global headquarters of Timothy Oulton, creative nexus of the Halo group.
Operations had previously been run from three small offices above Timothy Oulton’s Gough Street store in the bustle of Central. After considerable expansion of the company’s retail stores across the globe, the team had grown in size and needed somewhere to spread their wings. The One Island South building was chosen in the up and coming area of Wong Chuk Hang, surrounded by fellow creatives and like-minded innovative brands, who had recently begun to spring up in this newly hip, industrial location.
The 3 month project was headed up by Timothy Oulton’s Architect Simon Laws. Built as a complete office fit out on the 17th floor, structural work began to amalgamate several smaller offices to create the new headquarters. The existing exposed ceilings were retained to keep that raw, industrial feel and new floors were installed, featuring rich natural materials such as marble and reclaimed timber.
Walking through the open walkway into the imaginatively designed new office, you are greeted by a long corridor, theatrically padded in tufted leather and featuring large inkjet-printed portraits of Tim Oulton’s ‘top ten’ movers and shakers; from Winston Churchill to Mick Jagger and Muhammad Ali. The mesmerising geometric patterns of Roman marble tiles cover the floors and your eye line is guided to the central glass-walled meeting room at the end of the passage, wrapped in a giant brass-clad Union Jack in honour of the company’s British heritage.
There are three distinct zones that have been created; the three central meeting rooms, the open plan workspace and the warm and welcoming communal area.
At the heart of the office, the communal area reflects the company’s community ethos and close-knit family feel. It’s where employees eat together and socialise, and it’s where Timothy Oulton welcomes visitors as friends. Everyone congregates in the kitchen, preparing meals on the large marble and timber workbench, catching up or holding an informal meeting at the huge long wooden table, which looks out to the lush greenery outside. The huge slouchy Shabby Curved sofa offers a relaxed and comfortable platform to recline and take a break or entertain visitors.
In the very centre of the office, the main meeting space swaps a traditional conference room style for a long marble table on chunky wooden legs, with rich red leather Gym Horse benches, inspired by gymnastic equipment, and a huge sparkling Crystal chandelier. Timothy Oulton is part of the wider Halo Group, and bespoke accents proudly acknowledge this heritage that stretches back 40 years, with the word HALO inlaid into the long marble table, as well as appearing in brass inlay in the flooring of the office entrance.
On the other side of the meeting rooms lies the open plan working area, abuzz with activity. Above each row of desks are planter boxes filled with hardy Philodendrons, bringing a lush, natural element into the office environment. Floor to ceiling windows give the space a light, bright and airy feel.
All the materials used in the project came from the Timothy Oulton workshops in southern China. All the wood is reclaimed; for example, the office partition walls are made using reused scaffolding planks. Attention to detail in the choice of materials and the exquisite craftsmanship is evident in every nook and cranny. The whole space is imbued with an authentic character and soul; the hallmark of the Timothy Oulton brand.
Designed by Michael Yeung and Bastien Taillard, both designers for Timothy Oulton, the Design Studio is accessed through a secret door in the tiled wall of the office kitchen; a fun detail that is testament to the brand’s playful side.
In stark contrast to the warmth and richness of the office, the Design Studio is cool, sleek and sober. A neutral black colour palette and lots of natural light from the huge windows give it a quiet and serene feel where the Design Team can focus, undisturbed. An entire black wall is filled with mood boards; inspiration for current projects. A snaking black leather sofa faces the window with its lush green views, a space to de-stress or for contemplation. Another design feature – a glass panel, custom made by the Design Team – stretches from the floor almost to the ceiling. Its unique wave texture provided the inspiration for Timothy Oulton’s new Iceberg table collection.
This unique and creative office is ultimately a fun space, where people can interact, be free. A place to feel relaxed and inspired.
If you are a professional interested in project development and you would like to read more about Timothy Oulton Studio, get in touch here.