Investment company offices have the look of a traditional club or a five star hotel

The interior fit-out of VMS Investment's Hong Kong headquarters has a gallery like feel in reception and a hospitality feel in other areas

A structural column has been turned into an ceiling, floor, flooring, interior design, lobby, real estate, gray
A structural column has been turned into an artistic form by wrapping it in stainless steel in the reception of the new offices of VMS Investment in Central, Hong Kong.

VMS Investment Group (HK) Ltd is a private equity firm based in Central, Hong Kong's prime business district. The company recently relocated from one key business address in Jardine House to another even more prominent the whole top floor of One Exchange Square. Client perception and business confidence are everything in the world of company finance, and the move to this address together with the fit-out of its offices by Aedas Interiors provided a strong power-play for the firm.

Aedas Interiors managing director Logan MacWatt says although VMS moved from 372m² to the much roomier 2115m² at One Exchange Square, deft space planning was still essential. This included separation of sensitive security, asset management and finance departments to avoid any conflicts of interest with all important aspects of the design layout worked out well in advance.

"This address has stunning, front-row harbour views that we naturally made the most of," says MacWatt. "The meeting rooms, VIP room, and centrally located canteen or Business Lounge are all on the harbour-side of the floor, while the general offices face the other way, back towards the island.

"Several ideas were communicated in this fit-out, from an art gallery feel to high-end hospitality to a gentlemen's club, with different areas performing different roles."

To celebrate artistic culture and exude a sense of business confidence, companies will often invest in high-profile artworks and VMS is no exception, including a Warhol amongst its pieces, for example.

A dramatic cantilevered desk, designer lighting and a architecture, ceiling, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, product design, wall, gray
A dramatic cantilevered desk, designer lighting and a ribbed glass privacy wall together create a gallery-like feel in the reception of the new VMS offices at One Exchange Square, Hong Kong.

"VMS wanted the reception area in the new offices to create an appropriate backdrop environment to display their art acquisitions. To achieve this we specified muted tones in this area, including painting the lift core lobby in soft hues and introducing a beige-toned floor and timber accent wall.

"However while we wanted to create a restful decor to showcase the art, we also wanted several elements to have a sculptural look of their own."

The dramatic marble reception desk with its long cantilever underpinned by steel is one such feature. Another is a structural column which has been clad in polished stainless steel to reflect views from an adjacent window. The window itself is another art-like inclusion in that it is framed as though it were a painting, with the bustling real-life harbour being the subject. To the rear of the VMS reception, a curved wall of ribbed glass appears opaque from front on, but affords glimpses into the room behind as you move across the space.

Another aesthetic requested by the client was one of upmarket hospitality, with the boardroom achieving the feel of a bookable conference room in a grand hotel. Fabric on the walls, a grand soffit ceiling and flowing light feature are examples of the relaxed luxuriousness of the room.

Another hospitality-accented space possibly with the biggest impact of all is the VIP room. This space, with its panelled wood wall, mirror ceiling feature that reflects the harbour below, and corner accent of rich rosso marble, has the vibe of a stately gentlemen's club. However, there is a modern accent here, too. The leather settee and lounge chairs may be studded in the classic style but the actual shape of the furniture is contemporary. Here, as in other areas, the carpets were custom-designed by Aedas Interiors for the spaces.

The Business Lounge or canteen at the new architecture, ceiling, interior design, table, gray
The Business Lounge or canteen at the new VMS headquarters in Hong Kong.

The upmarket, rarified feel of the VIP room not only underpins the company's highly successful fiscal status, it also offers a relaxing place for informal business meetings with favoured clients.

Also furthering the sense of hospitality, is the Business Lounge. Located near reception, this is in reality the company's canteen, open to staff and business clients and visitors alike. Finished in sedate tones with a parquet floor in wood-look ceramic tiles, the Business Lounge also opens to a balcony with sweeping views of the harbour.

From the high-profile, top-floor business address in Central to the refined interiors and valuable art works on display, guests are constantly reminded of the calibre of business they are dealing with.

Credit list

Interior designer
Aedas Interiors
Internal partition walls
Jeb X Series Partition System from Jeb Greater China
A & S Furnishings
Tat Ming wallpaper
Lamex timber veneer
Reception furniture
Maum Studio
Construction company
Hsin Chong
Jeb Greater China
Limestone from GMA Stock (HK)
Lumen Arts
Office chairs
Kokuyo task chair

Story by: Charles Moxham

07 Mar, 2017

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