The Future of Co-Living with Groundwork’s Total Design: OOOtopia

In the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, where life is frenetic and living costs soar, Groundwork is committed to enhancing the quality of life for everyone. Through its Total Design Philosophy, Groundwork introduces a pioneering approach to co-living, epitomised by the project, OOOtopia. This holistic approach redefines urban living through immersive experiences and community-centric spaces that integrate environmental branding, emphasising affordability, community, and sustainability.

The OOOtopia, a co-living space incorporating the Total Design philosophy by Groundwork Architects

Groundwork’s Total Design Approach

Groundwork employs the Total Design approach as it aligns with its core philosophy of prioritising the needs of individuals and society. This philosophy integrates elements of environmental branding to create immersive living experiences. Through holistic design, Groundwork aims to foster engagement and reflect OOOtopia’s brand message of opportunity, openness, and originality, ultimately enhancing residents’ quality of life. The perspective on co-living embraced by OOOtopia goes beyond traditional notions of shared amenities, providing residents with more than just shelter. It serves as a sanctuary that fosters connection and personal growth, reflecting Groundwork’ commitment to creating co-living spaces that cater to both practical requirements—such as affordability and convenience—and intangible needs, including human connection and inspiration.

The Modern Era of Co-Living

Amidst Hong Kong’s housing crisis, Groundwork has been tasked with developing co-living as a feasible solution. Their approach revolves around the four Cs: Community, Convenience, Comfort, and Cost-saving. Co-living has evolved over time from a mere remedy for crowded cities into a lifestyle choice embraced by Nest Leavers—ambitious young professionals and recent graduates—who seek more than just accommodation. They yearn for a vibrant community and meaningful connections within the city. Groundwork acknowledges this evolution and strives to redefine co-living for the modern era by incorporating the Total Design philosophy. Their aim is to ensure that every resident not only feels at home but also genuinely connected and empowered.

Simplicity & Solitude

OOOtopia demonstrates Groundwork’s Total Design approach across three distinctive Hong Kong Neighbourhoods: Kai Tak, Anchor Street, and the West. It is not just a series of buildings; It is a manifestation of Groundwork’ vision for the future of urban living. All designs are simple but elegant, reflecting a celebration of life’s inherent simplicity and providing a sanctuary for relaxation and solitude. 


The three approaches (grounded, elevated, hybrid communal space) at OOOtopia

Communal Space Design for Connection

The communal spaces within OOOtopia serve as vibrant hubs of activity and interactions. At Kai Tak, the OOO-space embraces the neighbourhood with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up the façade, inviting residents and neighbours alike to connect with their surroundings. This vibrant gathering space bridges traditional and modern elements, encouraging and reactivating street life, offering tenants a taste of Indigenous Hong Kong in the aged fabric of To Kwa Wan.

Communal spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows foster a vibrant and inviting atmosphere to make connections at OOO-space, OOOtopia Kai Tak

Environmental Branding – From Colours, Textures, to Spatial Arrangement 

Contrasting with the bustling energy of Kai Tak, the TEA-rOOOm at Anchor Street is an elevated sanctuary that provides visitors with a calm, relaxing retreat and views of the busy street below. Accessed through a small portal and wooden staircase, this zen-like “treehouse” features Japanese-inspired design elements like wood slats and tatami mats, offering a quiet escape from city life while maintaining a connection to the outside world. Here, every aspect of design, from colour material selection to spatial arrangement, plays a crucial role in architecture.

Wood slats and tatami mats create a serene and traditional ambiance at TEA-rOOOm, OOOtopia Anchor Street 

The OOO-BAR at West offers two distinct atmospheres within a pencil tower site. Groundwork drew inspiration from the vibrant Sai Wan neighbourhood, designing a bar with mirrors to create a sense of spaciousness and harmony between the tenant, building, and community. The upstairs terrace adopts a warmer wood-and-tile tone, creating a more intimate space.

OOO-BAR with mirrors creates a sense of spaciousness, OOOtopia West 

Living spaces within OOOtopia are designed to cater to different circumstances and lifestyles. At Kai Tak, Groundwork moves away from the conventional co-living concept of shared amenities, fitting all basic needs into private rooms to avoid unnecessary contact with others. Meanwhile, at Anchor Street, the area of only 10 meters square led Groundwork to utilise the height of the room, creating a loft space with an elevated bed to separate sleeping from working / living areas. In the West, transformable furniture meets the needs of young people with different lifestyles, allowing spaces to be used for various activities throughout the day. Beds can become sofas, and tables and chairs can be stacked and hidden in walls, making the area versatile for breakfast, yoga, or socialising.OOOtopia Total Design

Various transformable furniture (foldable beds, tables, and chairs) to adjust their living space to suit their specific needs at OOOtopia West 


OOOtopia’s Branding Mascot – A Reminder of “The Importance of Chill”

In addition, Groundwork has introduced a brand mascot that encapsulates the very essence of their approach, serving as a constant reminder to residents of “the importance of chill.” This branding initiative exemplifies the Total Design philosophy championed by Groundwork, which underscores the integration of every element to create a seamless and meaningful experience. The spirit of positivity and authenticity permeates every aspect of OOOtopia’s design, extending from communal spaces to individual living units, and from architecture to branding.  It is infused with positivity and a focus on authenticity, allowing residents to be themselves without the constraints of social norms.OOOtopia Total Design

OOOtopia branding mascot symbolises the spirit of the brand: “the importance of Chill”

Total Design to Prioritise Residential Needs

Groundwork’ unique Total Design approach ensures that its co-living development transcends traditional boundaries. It aligns with its core philosophy of prioritising the needs of the individual and community. Whether it’s the privacy-focused design at Kai Tak, the inventive use of space at Anchor Street, or the versatile furniture solutions at West, its commitment to Total Design shines through, creating immersive living experiences that prioritise both individual comfort and community engagement.