Best of Year

Bean Buro Looks to Four-Decade-Old Christo Installation for Cigna's Hong Kong Office

Muuto pendants hang over a custom island, with Hay stools. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro.

In 1983, Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude wrapped the perimeters of 11 Florida islands in pink polypropylene fabric, creating “Surrounded Islands,” an installation the artist later called “a gentle disturbance.” Disruptive fine art might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Cigna, which since the 1930s has been one of Hong Kong’s major insurance firms. But when Cigna asked Bean Buro to design a new office in the city’s Causeway Bay, co-founders Lorène Faure and Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui found inspiration in those islands.

Gotland pendants line the custom counters paired with Gubi Beetle chairs in the pantry lounge. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro.

“Each is a desirable ‘oasis,’” says Faure, “and they function as social nodes within the workspace, forming interruptions within the open plan workspace.” The work bar in the pantry café, which Kinugasa-Tsui offers as an example, “is the main oasis, in the heart of the workspace’s V-shaped floor plan.”

In the rear lounge of the pantry, a double So Sofa rests near Pablo tables. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro.

A verdant palette of subtle green also recalls the islands, with wood finishes replacing the white workstation surfaces, and while a warm orange hue takes the place of Christo’s pink, the choice still feels artful.

Meeting rooms are floored with carpet inspired by pebbled paths. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro.
A rounded corner marks the transition from the pantry lounge to the open-plan workspace. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro.
On the left, a Muuto pendant illuminates a meeting room with chairs available through Fuurn. Photography courtesy of Bean Buro.

Read more: Toi Toi Toi Creates an Adaptable Berlin Office for Online Brand Contentful

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