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Brand Communication through Architecture: HDI Hive Office, Jakarta

Posted by
on July 30, 2018 at 03:22 PM

Architecture of every kind creates visual and spatial experiences that communicate with the user or the inhabitant. The architecture of a home, school or hotel would be engaged in a subtle, or implicit, sort of communication – like creating a vibe or an ambiance. Whereas, in the corporate world of brand identities architecture could take up a more explicit variety of communication, of articulating brand image, imagery and values. Here’s looking today at a recent piece of architectural refurbishment that seems to have aced the game of brand communication – the HDI Hive headquarters at Jakarta designed by PT Envirotec Indonesia.

© Courtesy of internet resources

HDI Hive, a multi-level marketing company for bee-based products, had an existing office building in Jakarta of 9 upper floors and 2 basements. They called upon PT Envirotec to design and execute a much-needed renovation for the building’s exteriors as well as interiors in 2016. The added challenge was to create and incorporate a brand identity that symbolised the firm’s products and also reflected their values.

Though it hardly needs to be mentioned that a thorough familiarisation of HDI Hive’s product range, working methods, and core values informed much of the early stages of design, there were other interesting factors like the narrow, wedge-shaped footprint of the building that rose into an impactful searing elevation to be taken into consideration. Internal and external, structural and architectural integrity of the building were also influential factors. The real challenge, as mentioned by Ming Zhow, design director of PT Envirotec Indonesia, lay in making the transition from a traditional architectural language to a bold, almost iconic, one.

The basic form that gives rise to all features of the design is, obviously, the hexagon derived from the honeycomb of a bee-hive. This hexagonal form has been deconstructed and extrapolated to derive the templates for various applications in the interiors as well as exteriors.

Perforated Aluminium panels of are grey cut out in deconstructed hexagonal shapes and bolted in interlinks into a floral tessellation that is stretched out across all the faces of the entire 9-floor high façade of the building. Then, 12 sided polygonal shapes formed by combining hexagonal stars of red coloured composite Aluminium panels are superimposed in parts to form another layer of red honeycomb. The red panels are embedded with LED lights in their joints which emit arrow-head shaped light rays that envelop the building in a luminous blazing red honeycomb at night. Thus sheathed in a layer of bold eye-catching honeycomb, the office building of the Hive literally became a visual hive in a floral garden! 

Other than the external visuals, this façade screen delivers on several fronts. It protects and safeguards the structure externally and also helps optimise the solar gain for the interiors. Being visible to the working inhabitants through the glazed windows, the visual identity created by the honeycomb carries through inside as well.

The deconstructed hexagon (that looks like a trifoliate star) continues its visual magic in the interior applications as well. It is used to create the 12 sided polygons in wood to form a honeycomb chain of foliated reading/ seating coves across the large experience centre. The hexagonal form itself can be seen repeatedly in the ceiling and wall lights, ceiling and floor designs, cut-outs, tables and counters. Even the tessellation of the floral pattern that uses the trifoliate star on the façade can be seen on the backlit credenza of the reception counter.

Thus a pattern language has been created that can translate from the basic architecture to the interiors to the imagery of the brand and its communication paraphernalia. The architects were successful in transforming a traditional brand and set-up into an iconic entity through the use of visual tools. Today, the HDI Hive building in Menteng sears majestically through the Jakarta skyline, a honeycombed hive in its brand colours of white, grey and red stretched across the façade, making a bold and distinguished statement!

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