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133 Wai Yip Street, Hong Kong

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV recently converted an old industrial building in Hong Kong into new office space. The overall project size is roughly 200,000 sf. What’s unique about the project is the obsessive focus on transparency and glass.

Here’s what the interior looks like:

And here’s how the architect has described the project:

“We are moving into a transparent society, businesses are becoming more open with the public, and people care more about what goes on behind closed doors. In that way, a clear workspace leaves nothing questionable, nothing hidden; it generates trust.” Tells MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas, “But also it is an opportunity for the building to become a reminder of the industrial history of the neighbourhood, monumentalised in a casing of glass.”

I have written quite a bit about how I believe we are shifting towards a more transparent world – perhaps even a radically transparent world. And so it’s interesting to see an architect pick up on this broader theme and translate it into physical space.

The floor is transparent. The partitions are transparent. The furniture is transparent. And you can clearly discern the interfaces between old and new.

Good architecture, at least in my opinion, should reflect what is happening in our broader society. That’s why I believe that studying the history of art and architecture is really like studying the history of the world.

For more photos of the project, click here.

Image by Ossip van Duivenbode via MVRDV

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