New Normal – Hybrid Working

In 2020, The Nate launched a competition about “What will Hong Kong’s Residential or Office Space Look Like in the immediate future”. As a response to this competition, Bagua+Bhava Team made a proposal in order to response this question in the future Hong Kong and in the rest of the world.

BABH were awarded the winner of the competition.

After a year of battling the pandemic, the problem still remains and is continuing to affect the lifestyles’ of all human beings. Post COVID-19, will the way that we live and work change? In a densely populated city such as Hong Kong, where living spaces are typically small, there will likely still be a need for office space, but what will this look like? And we believe that the answer is Hybrid Working.

Hong Kong commuters in masks, going to work in Central.

Photo: May Tse / SCMP

What is Hybrid Working? According to FCCinnovation. “Hybrid means the mixing of two or more different things, whether that’s a plant, a piece of music, or famously, a vehicle. So, it follows that hybrid working is a mix of office-based work and working from home or another location. As lockdown eases, employees are going back to offices, but many of them are not in the office full time and are moving between their traditional desk and their home

office.” Gartner CFO survey reveals 74% intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently and 30% of companies say the right cloud collaboration tools can improve company productivity according to McKinsey Research. As a result, in a certain extent, Hybrid Working will become a new movement in the future.

Hybrid Working will change the way that we live and work in three aspects.

THE LIVING SPACE, THE WORKING SPACE AND THE CITY SPACE.

01. The Living Space

In the future living space, most of the time people can stay and work at home. Therefore, a residential unit will be divided into two areas. One is Resting Zone and another one is Working Zone.

Model 01

Open Working Space

Open Working Space can provide an interactive function and open space if the owners are working in some creative business such as designers, artists and so on.

Model 02

Semi-open Working Space

Semi-Open Working Space can provide private space if the owners need to be very focused and not disturbing on their jobs.

Model 03

Enclosed Working Space

Enclosed Working Space can provide a separate space between the working area and the living area in a residential unit.

Model 04

Entertainment Space

Moving the cabinet to one side will become a resting area from the working area. Therefore, the owner can get a larger space to get some rest after work.

Model 05

Sleeping Space

Finished one day’s work, the owners can adjust the sofa layout and pull out the bed from the platform in order to watch a nice movie and a nice sleep.

Hybrid working brings flexibility on location, times, and days that work is carried out. Review and revise Work From Home policies and focus on what employees need to be productive in their roles.

02. Working Space

Homeworking and co-working spaces will rise in prominence but we’ll still see a need for a central company workspace for a meeting, collaboration and to give the workforce its sense of identity?

On the other hand, do we still need a fixing or private desk for the future working space? No. And we just need three functions in the future office. They are Working Area, Resting Area and Meeting Area,

Hybrid Working is a flexible new working trend across multiple locations, immersive workspace and consistent experiences.

03. City Space

Shophouse (前舖後居) is a building type serving both as a residence and a commercial business which is “a shop opening on to the pavement and also used as the owner’s residence” and became a commonly used term since the 1950s. Shophouse can be found in old Hong Kong and Macau, and it is found in a building type known as Tong lau.

Can we apply “shophouse” in the future Hong Kong architecture?

RESIDENCE + OFFICE = FUTURE BUILDING

In the hybrid working era, we work from home most of the time and we seldom work in the office. As a result, do we need an office building in the future? Or we can absorb the shophouse method which means combining the living space and the working space in a building at the same time.

Typical Resident Building

Typical Office Building

Residence and Working Space in the same building

Future Buildings in Hong Kong even in the world

Different cities and locations can be applied

Work is not a place. It is what you do

Businesses will look to smaller offices dispersed across more locations

The Future City Buildings

The reason that hybrid working is the new normal is because of sustainability. Working from home can reduce the working spaces and the government can create more residences for the citizen. Besides that, due to the reduction of the working spaces, more green areas such as parks can be built in order to achieve a sustainable society.

Project Information


Year : 2020
Type : Competition
Client : District15 & The Nate
Location : Hong Kong
Area : 375 sq.ft.
Status : Concept


Partner in Charge : Gavin Leung
Fellow in Charge :
Project Leader :
Design Team :

Images : Bagua+Bhava & Internet
Visualisations : Bagua+Bhava


Awards : Winner of the Nate Competition

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