LAAB designed and built a joyful and productive workspace for GoodNotes, the app start-up that makes digital note-taking easy and fun. The 13,000 sqft workspace spans across two floors connected by a glass balustrade with a continuous railing that looks like a red pen stroke.
The lower floor has an open-plan office with big and small meeting rooms, a restaurant-grade kitchen, a coffee bar, a shower cubicle, and a social space large enough to accommodate a live band. The upper floor features four squad rooms for individual teams, plenty of VC rooms, an AI lab, a photo studio, a town hall, and a whisky bar.
The design of the GoodNotes office translates iconic features of the app interface—which were largely inspired by moments of the traditional notebooks, such as pen strokes, markers, graph paper, and rubber bands—into spatial and material language that penetrates the walls, doors, counters, stools, and lockers of the physical space.
A lively mix of blues and other defining colours from the app interface—denim blue, neon blue, warning red, orange, and denim grey—formed the colour palettes of the office design to develop a cheerful and energetic experience.
Taking cues from GoodNotes’ unique pen color picker interface, the “Galaxy Ceiling” at the Town Hall curates moods through a smart control system for different activities ranging from chilling to holding meetings, from movie theatre to yoga. With a bespoke wireless-charging system, two globe pendants can freely orbit around the ceiling like the buttons in the color-picker interface.
The paper templates of the GoodNotes app also become the references for the ceiling lighting arrangement and glass motif of the Squad Rooms on the upper floor, as well as the artworks displayed throughout the hallway gallery.
The whisky bar, with the code name “Doodle Bar,” was inspired by the freehand doodles celebrated by the app-user community.
Sustainability is one of the core values of GoodNotes, as the primary goal of the app interface is to minimize paper consumption. Eco-materials, such as air-purifying paint, linseed-made hygienic flooring, and recycled PET acoustic wall coverings are used in the office.
Floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide sufficient sunlight to penetrate the office. Smart-controlled LED lighting and air-conditioning are used to reduce the use of energy. The cubic meeting rooms are structured in glass boxes to allow broad daylight to go through.
All rooms are equipped with curtains, which can be shut to turn the room into a blackout space for privacy and concentration. Full-height whiteboards form the walls of the rooms to facilitate brainstorming sessions and to generate a more intuitive relationship between physical and virtual notetaking.
There are four squad rooms on the upper floor for team meetings, each contains a meeting space, a lounge area, and an enclosed phone booth. All rooms are soundproofed with well-equipped AV technology for video conferencing collaboration.
The office is equipped with a commercial-grade kitchen, a coffee bar, a whisky bar, a live band, and a cinema space. These social spaces add another layer of interactivity to the GoodNotes office, which has a relatively young workforce who works smart and plays hard. Open meeting spaces and modular furniture punctuate the transition between the meeting rooms and the social area, offering flexibility to the programmatic arrangement. The Good People are encouraged to bring their family to the office over the weekend to enjoy the space like a clubhouse.
Interior Design, Graphic Design, Contracting
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Cushman & Wakefield, NV5
Otto Ng, Felix Chiu, Daisy Lam, Ethan Chan, Ziv Cheung, Andy Yip, Raphael Kwok, CK Wong, Jacky Chau, Yazh Yip, Rachel Lee, Winson Man, Cynthia Kuo, Catherine Cheng