Atrium in medium-sized office buildings

Atrium in medium-sized office buildings.

Atrium is the word referring a large space – a vacant area inside a building. It is a common architectural element in ancient Roman buildings. That often provides light and ventilation for the interior. Modern atrium was developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This vacant area is usually a lobby or a main entrance of a building, connecting areas with glass roof or large windows.

In this article, HOMA architects introduces to you Atrium of 3 different projects.

That is our approaches to design this vacant space. Atriums are usually created by the method of using negative blocks. A part of the floors is designed to become a void, from the first to the second floor, or​ for example the 8th floor. That gives the building a sense of space and generous light. Typically, an atrium is a highlight – a main space of the building.

In the case of high-rise buildings, creating an atrium space is almost indispensable so that the building can communicate with people through a proper sense of proportion. For example, a high atrium with 8 floors in depth mentions people that is a huge project.

However, for an atrium in medium-sized office buildings, the decision to create it also needs to be considered economically. That is because of the limited area and the cost of floor space, especially in busy urban areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The atrium space is extremely important for small and medium office buildings since it represents the building image, makes a first impression. It is also the place where it happens the most community interaction between people and constructions.

Through the process of consulting and designing many office buildings, we draw a few principles for ourselves when designing atrium as follows:

Principle 1:

Designing an atrium means architectural design at the same time with interior design task. Explanation: Atrium is the architecture in the interior of the building, so you have to do both.

Principle 2:

Focus and coherent ideas as much as possible. Explanation: Identify the priority factor and take it as a center for the design. Remove all the less relevant ones.

Principle 3:

Do it, make it awesome. Explanation: It should be impressionable. With these 3 principles, we spend most of our time getting to know how people using the building. Their cultures, habits are main points to create their own atrium in the building. That is the secret to make the atrium unique.

1. Hoa phat corporation

Hall of Hoa Phat building: the current building has no atrium – a pity for a building located right on Tran Hung Dao street. The 3 major interventions we proposed for this design:

– Cut a large floor area to create the atrium.

This space is essential to create the volume height of the main hall;

– Put a large reception block and stairs leading to the 2nd floor;

– The existing pole columns are rounded with large steel bundles running smoothly on 2 floors.

This move makes the columns more friendly to human circulation and enhances the serenity of space.

Results achieved:

Focused space and more accent. The steel pillars also make the brand’s brand image worth of steel.

2. FPT corporation


FPT Corporation office building: In this project we focus on the human identity of the leading technology corporation in Vietnam. We look forward to making FPT’s DNA Chain alive and existent in the building.

After studying architectural design documents that the investor provides. We realize that the first floor space from the first floor to the 7th floor is a valuable space for the building. This space provides an atmosphere and view. It looks like the value that a lake brings to a city. This space is an endless source of ideas for decorative art ideas for every holiday, also an ideal space for technology shows.

The floors are connected by a double spiral staircase which we call FPT’s DNA chain.

With this ladder, people easily move between the lower floors without having to use the elevator. Especially at mealtimes, staircases are places where people meet and talk, maintain close co-working relationships. In addition, this can also be the place for competitions and physical training of staffs. The foot of the ladder spread wide like a mini stands. A large piano is placed in the space between the two ladders, which is an artistic highlight reserved for impromptu shows of FPT music talents that people can directly sit around and appreciate. The DNA spiral represents the spirit and vitality throughout the generations of FPT, generations of talented, powerful and united people.

3. Bitexco corporation

Atrium Sales building combined with Bitexco executive room: we focus on the impression of the luxury of a large urban area for customers to visit. Interior space of the public area is a large floor space with luxurious materials and matching the logo color of the project. Especially, structural columns are released to the second floor to create the impression of serenity. A warm white stone color exalting the metallic gold color affirms the classic elegance of the project.

A vacant area becomes familiar to building users as well as to architects and construction engineers.

Users like the atrium because they can create an energetic and stimulating interior environment. They can organize collective activities indoor with natural light and airiness. The atrium design is interesting because it is both an architectural design and an interior design.

Therefore, to design a good atrium is not easy. The common trap is a mistake in the proportion of people
making space empty or vice versa, too tight and mysterious. Without principles and acumen, a large volume of a building can be turned into a meaningless dry space where people are bored and uninterested.

There are no common divine formula for atrium design, hardly having a recipe like cooking. HOMA architects only follow a few basic principles, and case by case to create opportunities for exploring  the atrium space. Even challenges, HOMA architects are excited with the design of the atrium because of the reward for architects is finding a suitable and unique atrium space.