When Microsoft transcended into a new generation of innovations, they wanted an office that encapsulated this refreshed design thinking – one which humanises technology and innovation.

When Microsoft transcended into a new generation of innovations, they wanted an office that encapsulated this refreshed design thinking – one which humanises technology and innovation.

With that goal in mind, they partnered with Space Matrix, a leading office interior design and renovation firm, to capture this aspiration for their 75,000 square foot Taipei office. The new office space showcases how their technology can enhance and elevate the human experience.

Modelled after Taiwan’s neighbourhoods and natural landscapes, we asked the project team how the Microsoft office was designed to foster a stronger work culture while creating a more comfortable and personal work environment.

 Bringing employees onboard with their new office space

The main challenge for us: introduce Microsoft’s workplace design guidelines to a team who has worked successfully out of the same office for over a decade. These teams had grown accustomed to the existing infrastructure. Microsoft’s guidelines would replace the traditional office layout with new spaces that fit each team’s working requirements.

Through the use of formal and informal spaces, we designed an environment that would accommodate a variety of agile functions. This includes a mix of seating options and surface heights to cater for different working styles.

Along with that, the design consists of spaces for both individual and collaborative work. Some examples include team rooms, phone booths and open discussion areas.

Collaborating with the client for a smooth workplace design

An emotionally invested design journey is key to successful change. We defined a spatial experience that was unique to Taipei, bringing forth the people’s fortitude and diversity. We engaged with stakeholders at every step to synergize their requirements. This helped us to customise solutions that aligned to the organisation’s new workplace guidelines.

Moira Boullé, Senior Workplace Strategist at Microsoft International commented, “The design team on this project were extremely committed to our project and it’s been a pleasure working with them!”

Melding company culture with local culture

The cultural alignment of an organisation is often a key to its success. Taking this into consideration, we developed a soulful “Formosa” (beautiful island) experience that reflects Taiwan’s rich culture and heritage.

Several cultural references were taken from Taiwan’s landscape and re-imagined into design elements throughout the office. For instance, take Taiwan’s popular and bustling night markets. Through flashy signs and wall paintings, you can imagine being in the market while seated in Microsoft’s kitchenette. Daily life and images of the Nanfangao Fishing Port were also recreated on other walls around the workplace.

Together with the use of greenery and communal spaces, the design for meeting and waiting areas created an inviting and homely environment. All in a bid to encourage a warm, sociable vibe to both visitors and the team.

Making a great first impression

First impressions can often make or break a design project. Fortunately, the initial Microsoft pitch concept made it to the final design with no further amendments. While that tends to seem impossible on paper, this project shows that it’s always wise to make the pitch count. With the green light, ultimately, the Space Matrix project team invested 18 weeks to detail and deliver our vision for this 75,000 square foot project.

The end result? An expansive and collaborative work environment that takes inspiration from Taiwan’s neighbourhood and daily life. Seamlessly, the overall design infused local culture into office life.

The all new Microsoft Taipei is an office where employees can be efficient, productive and relax in a comfortable environment they identify closely with.

Project: Microsoft Taipei, Taiwan
Design Studio: Space Matrix
Photo Credit: Space Matrix
Website: spacematrix.com