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The Fintech office / WIT Design & Research

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The Fintech office / WIT Design & Research

The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Image 2 of 32The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior photography, kitchen, lighting, windows, chair, handrailThe Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior Photography, BeamThe Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior Photography, Painting+ 32

Birth of a brand of office spaces focused on design. End of 2020. A Fintech investor called Luo, founding partner of WIT: “I decided to invest in Fintech Ⅲ. Let’s collaborate again, before the end of the year. For WIT, the invitation not only marked a progress from underground space design to standard above-ground office space design, but also provided an opportunity to explore how to make the unconventional conventional office space and increase Fintech brand awareness.

The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior photography, kitchen, lighting, windows, chair, handrail
© Visual Mille Degrés

May 2020. Fintech Ⅱ started designing. The Fintech was launched with a cost per square meter almost 20% higher, which meant that WIT was “free to install terrazzo tiles for the floor”. However, at that time, the pandemic was hovering over the office market and the government was calling for remote work. In October 2020, during the first week of completion, a database company rented the triangle-shaped space from Fintech Ⅱ, which before the renovation was in a miserable state. However, another AI company was not so lucky. Failing to secure the rental of the space, she asked the developer to arrange for WIT to design another office space of the same quality in the building. According to the son of the company’s investor who had returned from the United States, the office is “even more comfortable than home”.

The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Image 8 of 32
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February 2020. The Fintech OfficeⅠand Dragon Restaurant, located in and developed by the Ronghui International Building, were put into operation simultaneously. An office building dedicated to serving the fintech industry, the Ronghui International Building had received great support from the Beijing government, but like many other businesses in Beijing, including those in the CBD, it felt the bite of the pandemic. It was in these difficult times that the Fintech Office got its start. A few days later, a former Google artificial intelligence scientist, who had decided to start his own company and had received funding from Google and Volkswagen, rented the entire space of the Fintech OfficeⅠ, which was originally intended to be a co-working space. He made up his mind as soon as he walked into the lobby, despite the rent being almost as high as a CBD apartment building. Considering that the -1F’s limited height had once hampered the building’s rental business, the deal was a win for both the developer and WIT, who had undertaken the design of the -1F and -2F.

The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior Photography, Beam
© Visual Mille Degrés

After the Fintech Ⅲ was reserved for the use of the investor himself for a year, more and more potential tenants came to visit the space and tried to negotiate the rental of the space. The competitive price ultimately prompted the developer to lease the space. Meanwhile, the Fintech Office began to receive invitations to cooperate, including from the operator of an existing building of more than one hundred thousand square meters wishing to use its branding, design and management service. Over the past two years, the Fintech Office has thrived amid the pandemic. The Dragon office space and restaurant, funded by the building’s developer and designed by WIT Design & Research, provided “an ideal dining experience and ‘one-minute life circle’ for stressed professionals in the Fintech industry who are in pursuit of peace of mind, and they serve as an example of an office community breaking the spell of the business crisis in the rental industry.This is how the Fintech Office brand was born , with Dragon Restaurant, which offers the best dining environment of any other restaurant in the chain across China.WIT suggested that the design of the sunken atrium be included in the contract, and the landscape of indoor/outdoor also extends the physical/psychological office space available to staff and allows them to embrace city life.

The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior Photography
The concrete “waterfall” and “swimming ducks” become perfect alternatives for outdoor water games during Beijing’s long cold winter. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual
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Shape programming, material testing and construction
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Floodlights are placed above the atrium recreation area to simulate moonlight, creating a holiday vibe. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual

Technology follows hospitality. The staircase was designed using parametric software rather than being drawn by hand to accentuate the characteristics of the fintech industry. Despite its extremely low cost, “design” solves problems, creates value and, above all, looks glamorous.

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Shape programming, material testing and construction
The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior Photography, Wood
© Visual Mille Degrés
The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior Photography, Painting
© Visual Mille Degrés

Priority given to efficiency over capacity. Challenged by limited space, WIT believes that “it’s okay to have an imperfect space, and that’s where designers can maneuver to make the most of it.” It is the responsibility of the developer and the designers to ensure a satisfactory number of sales per unit area, but the extent to which the functionality and usability of the space can be provided by the design will ultimately be felt by the people who are the users of it. space, and this is WIT’s priority. During the design process, we kept asking ourselves: what is the nature of efficiency when we talk about office space?

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In order to maximize the net ceiling height, the space is well thought out down to the centimeter. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual
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Design for sharing. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual
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With an average workspace of 6.6㎡ per person, the desk is small but ideal in every detail. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual

When it comes to working in the modern era, working from home remains a controversial topic. Technology is helpful, but not a panacea: it cannot facilitate sincere conversations and build trust the way face-to-face communication does. This is especially the case when employees in the high-tech industry work under enormous pressure and require great coordination – they will need a physical space to work together for the foreseeable future.

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To relieve worker fatigue after long hours, the space offers open desks and “first class” seating. Hand drawn by Dan. B
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To relieve worker fatigue after long hours, the space offers open desks and “first class” seating. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual
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To relieve worker fatigue after long hours, the space offers open desks and “first class” seating. Image © One Thousand Degree Visual

The discussion around work efficiency continues between the investor and Luo, who together built the Fintech Office brand, inspired by the birth of the efficiency-focused design of semicircular office clusters at Bloomberg London.

The Fintech Office / WIT Design & Research - Interior photography, Living room, Chair
© Visual Mille Degrés