Microsoft’s Taipei office by Space Matrix Singapore anchors the global brand in the local culture through spaces that enhance the employee experience and showcase the brand’s products.
For the team at Space Matrix, designing the 75,000-square-foot Microsoft Taipei office was as much of an exercise in understanding the values of the brand as it was a cultural study. In line with the client’s goals for the space, the new office design provides a departure from the previous traditional office environment, unveiling dynamic spaces to cater to the local teams’ needs, while promoting future growth.
Aligning the brand and the local culture was identified as one of the key requirements for the new office. The people-centric aspect became paramount in establishing the overall direction for the design across five floors.
“We believe that spaces are for people,” says Archie Cruda, Associate Director, Design Excellence Centre at the Singapore studio of Space Matrix. “Given that Taipei’s culture is people-centric, there was a seamless alignment in integrating the brand into the local culture and context.”
Across all levels, Space Matrix followed Microsoft’s new global design guidelines for space distribution, devised to cater to various types of human interaction: collaborative, shared and individual work spaces. The client’s main concern was that the teams might resist the changes that would come with the new office, so the design team also gave priority to creating destinations on each floor that would bring people together, building a sense of community in the process.
By bringing contextual considerations into the development of Microsoft Taipei’s office spaces, the design team enabled an easier transition from the old to the new office setting, developing work and social areas rooted in Taipei’s culture.
Thus, level 15 evokes the old heritage Mountain Line Train, level 16 transports its visitors to a lush balcony in a Taipei apartment, level 17 to a Taipei night market, and 18 to a vibrant river front. Level 19 features a customer platform. The team also developed creative graphics to bring elements of the themes to life (for example, the creative use of ceiling lights and graphics represent Taiwan’s night markets).
The integration of Microsoft products in subtle and seamless ways was another key component of the design. In Cruda’s words, “The client wanted to showcase the Microsoft product but in a very subtle, non-confrontational way, believing that technology should not overpower the space but be intuitive and enhance the human experience.” Provisions were implemented to allow visitors to interact with Microsoft’s latest developments within the new office. It shows how technology, when integrated smartly and unobtrusively, can enhance the human experience.