Topline Office

Topline Office

Architect
Head Architecture and Design Ltd.
Location
houjie, China
Project Year
2008
Category
Offices

Showrooms
Graham Uden

Topline Office - Colorful Work Space

Head Architecture and Design Ltd. as Architects

Topline is a Seattle based shoe design company that supplies US and European markets as diverse as Jay Z’s Rocawear brand and Payless. Their main production base is Southern and Eastern China and HEAD has worked with Topline to provide cutting edge design and administration premises over a period of ten years. Following a renovation of their existing sample production factory in Dongguan, China , HEAD assisted in the selection of an existing factory complex and then designed a new centralised centre that would allow the streamlining of their prototyping process within one site. While much of the accommodation schedule was standard – design sample factory, showrooms, dormitories, offices, cafeteria etc. - we were keen to infuse a positive energy into the workplace. Without substantially increasing the budget or changing the brief, we took every opportunity to make this factory exceptional. The storage, display and handling of the thousands of fabric and leather samples provided an opportunity to have fun with colour in the work areas. All spaces are decorated with large graphics and bright colours. In the cafeteria, table football, pool and movies are available and the courtyard houses a heavily used floodlit basketball court and two badminton courts. Footwear modelling, an important part of the shoe prototyping process, is done on circular discussion plinths around which a panel of designers and manufacturers can work and on top of desks which double as long catwalks, bringing fun and informality to the workstations. By implementing these easy ideas, we believe that we have made a tangible improvement to the quality of the working lives of hundreds of factory workers in southern China. The success of this is born out by greatly improved staff retention at all levels.”

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