Rare views and light colours define this Hong Kong family office redesign

Brewin Design Office redesigns penthouse family office for Shui On Land in Hong Kong, featuring rare views and light colours

Interior of Shui On Land in Hong Kong with landscape views
(Image credit: press)

Office architecture presents its own unique challenges, but even more so when the client comprises two generations negotiating a space in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai quarter that hasn’t really evolved, stylistically, in 30 years of business. For Singapore-based Brewin Design Office, the penthouse office redesign of the family-run property developer Shui On Land involved a delicate balancing between the diktats of the current chairman and his children.

For the former, fengshui considerations and his collection of calligraphy and antiques were important; and for the latter, the brief was for a casually sleek yet welcoming open-plan setting with connecting lounge and meeting spaces – the better for luring a new generation of clients.

The solution was to open up as much of the 10,000 sq ft space as possible to the 36th-storey panorama – the unobstructed sightline clear across Kowloon towards the sea is, for Hong Kong, a rare treat – and to replace the pre-existing 1980s dark wood moodboard with white oak wall panels, a light creamy palette, and customised, low-slung furniture accented with marble and teak.

Office redesign combines open plan and privacy

Study at Shui On Land in Hong Kong

(Image credit: press)

Meeting rooms have glass windows that turn opaque at the flick of a switch –ensuring privacy for business ventures pitching for funding, one of the new business models being developed by the family’s second generation. Which also explains the cluster of open-plan hot desks. These, says Bobby Cheng, Brewin’s founder and creative director, are dedicated to new businesses, ‘like an incubator office before they launch properly in their own spaces’.

The result is a family office redesign primed for its millennial close-up both in terms of aesthetics and its evolving corporate mandate of competing with property developers in Hong Kong and greater China, and investing in new businesses.

With the Shui On Land office finally wrapped after a long delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheng’s attention is now on a busy new year schedule of complex residential and commercial projects, including the Capella properties in Kyoto and Niseko.

Living space at Shui On Land in Hong Kong

(Image credit: press)

Lobby at Shui On Land in Hong Kong

(Image credit: press)

Close up of desk, chair and lamp inside the study at Shui On Land in Hong Kong

(Image credit: press)

Meeting room at Shui On Land in Hong Kong

(Image credit: press)

Seating area with landscape views at Shui On Land in Hong Kong

(Image credit: press)



Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.