NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG Design enjoys colourful, playful minimalism

Clothed in canary yellow, PIG Design’s NEOBIO in Shenzhen, China, is inspired by fantastical childhood memories, as a refreshing departure from streamlined, grey workspaces.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Nov 23, 2021

A sunny exercise in parasitic architecture, NEOBIO in Shenzhen One Avenue by Chinese studio PIG Design is a statement of intent, a workspace swathed in bright-hued playfulness. Located at the southeast corner of One Avenue in the Futian District of Shenzhen in China, the bold and unique office design taps into childhood memories of colour and awe, wherein the lead designer, founder, and director of PIG Design, Li Wenqiang, refers to himself as a “grown-up child".

NEOBIO Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG Design is a workspace swathed in canary yellow and tessellated aluminium | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
NEOBIO Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG Design is a workspace swathed in canary yellow and tessellated aluminium Image: Courtesy of SFAP

The Chinese architecture and design studio conceives spatial structures in a similar fashion to literary creations, emphasising the practical value of art within strictly architectural and design settings. Following a similar treatment for NEOBIO, the designers exactingly oppose the free breeding and prevalent aesthetic of conventional office architecture and interior typologies, forming an inimitable dialogue with the urban complex it sits within. “In the densely populated city of Shenzhen, a clever parasitic relationship is formed between the buildings of NEOBIO and this 280,000-square-foot commercial complex, and the assembly of the two forms a mutually harmonious symbiosis,” explains Wenqiang.

  • The entrance | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    The entrance Image: Courtesy of SFAP
  • NEOBIO does not follow conventional workspace design ideologies | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    NEOBIO does not follow conventional workspace design ideologies Image: Courtesy of SFAP

"The city is a system of intertwined networks within a limited area, meticulously interlocking, overlapping, and dispersed. As history advances and cities expand, the form of architecture is changing. Early architecture served religion, power and wealth, and elites. Today the form of architecture and the objects it serves are changing, more diversified, subdivided, with gradually blurring functional boundaries, and the constantly changing subjects of application,” he continues.

The office design swathed in canary yellow is immersed in playfull minimalism | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
The office design swathed in canary yellow is immersed in playfull minimalism Image: Courtesy of SFAP

A riot of yellow gamut manifesto

Outlined with an impish sense of fantasy, NEOBIO has been dressed in glorious canary yellow with tinges of tessellated, silvery aluminium and glass, while its interiors follow a material palette encompassing ceramic tiles, terrazzo, stainless stone, coloured wallpaper, acrylic accents, and more aluminium. The Chinese designers chose this bright hue for it lies mid-frequency in the visible part of electromagnetic waves, and what lies underneath the large yellow gamut is a continuous humanistic exploration of “life and growth”. According to them, this welcoming colour counterpoint elicits an exploration into the social composition of family and work units within the project, bathing its human users in warmth and innocent amusement, offering them a surprising and memorable experience.

The entrance features bespoke furniture and a unique installation | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
The entrance features bespoke furniture and a unique installation Image: Courtesy of SFAP
The yellow signifies warmth, exploration and growth | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
The yellow signifies warmth, exploration and growth Image: Courtesy of SFAP

The wall installation seen at the entrance is adapted from the “I” character of NEOBIO's English logo, “a juvenile tree modeled”, indicative of garnering information and symbolising growth. The seven-metre high pacifier character that is centred on the building’s front calls to the project’s spatial core of growth. The crescent-shaped arc of the entrance topped with a reverse one creates a steady upward growth in terms of visual dynamics, opening the doors to the free-willed kingdom of the city’s children and young adults.

The distinct character affixed on the façade is taken from NEOBIO’s English logo | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
The distinct character affixed on the façade is taken from NEOBIO’s English logo Image: Courtesy of SFAP

A set of installations outline the outdoor extension of the building that does not limit itself to the orthodox, such as a set of bright yellow water droplets in steel that represent renewal and change, as well as cellular procreation, dividing and duplicating to carry on the essence of life.

The outdoor furniture | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
The outdoor furniture Image: Courtesy of SFAP

Sophisticated yet a fun-packed wonderland, the 200 sqm office architecture has areas dedicated to kids as well, replete with a tea shop straight out of a Disney film – a far cry from traditional workspace settings, it harbours features such as thick terrazzo metal tables and chairs, as well as a bow-shaped hillside grass landscape, that reinforce the freedom of the design, forming an organic dialogue with the artificial elements as well as natural greens nestled in reflective metal vessels surrounding the building. Outdoor armless furniture in the shape of half cut lemons liven the space further, along with rounded cut outs for windows and other apertures.

The tea shop | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
The tea shop Image: Courtesy of SFAP

Basing the interior design on the actuality of time being an illusion, NEOBIO means differently for adults and kids – for the former, the space takes them back to their childhood with ultra-hued décor and interiors, whereas for children, the office becomes a playground, majestic, colourful and opening myriad vistas to learn and imbibe the outside world in all its glory. The designers relay that the space hangs delicately and sturdily in that crack in time, where children and grown-ups secure fresh healing.

  • The reception desk and lobby | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    The reception desk and lobby Image: Courtesy of SFAP
  • Inside NEOBIO | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    Inside NEOBIO Image: Courtesy of SFAP

"The boundary between reality and illusion becomes blurred, as if we are in a fictional story. The social nature of humans labouring to live is weakened and replaced by the immediate feeling of just existing in the moment. After temporarily forgetting the burden of social identity, the space begins to enter a purer moment in time, cut off from the drabness of the outside world,” shares the studio based in Hangzhou, China. “Children, who are supposed to be the future of the city, should feel the city's love for them here, learn to care and love their friends, and cherish the time they spend with their families,” they add.

  • Multiple passages defined by arches lead to the shoe changing area inside the building | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    Multiple passages defined by arches lead to the shoe changing area inside the building Image: Courtesy of SFAP
  • The shoe changing room replete with zig zap yellow and white stripes and colourful gear | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    The shoe changing room replete with zig zap yellow and white stripes and colourful gear Image: Courtesy of SFAP
  • Acrylic and colourful wall coverings line the bright interiors | NEOBIO, Shenzhen One Avenue by PIG DESIGN | STIRworld
    Acrylic and colourful wall coverings line the bright interiors Image: Courtesy of SFAP

Project Details

Name: NEOBIO
Location: Shenzhen One Avenue, Shenzhen, China
Internal Floor Area: 200 sqm
Design and Furniture: PIG Design
Lead Designer: Li Wenqiang
Designer Team: Zhu Yiyun, Yan Junjun, Yang Zhiwei, Chien Simone, Liu Chao, Xiong Jun, Gao Ya, He Di, Tan Shijie, Wu YiCheng, Xiao Fei, Shao Xindi, Zhao Lili, Shen Taotao, Fan Kaiqi, Xiao Mengmeng, Chen Liang
Construction Firm: Shanghai Nipeier Interior Design Co., Ltd.
Lighting Design: Hangzhou Young Lighting Design

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