10 Minutes With…Jaelle Ang, Founder of The Great Room

An interview with Jaelle Ang, Founder of The Great Room, a premium co-working space

Name: Jaelle Ang | Occupation: Founder & CEO at The Great Room | Location: Hong Kong | Known for: The Great Room


Hong Kong is home to an abundance of creative talent, spanning across different career paths from artists to chefs. Each week we interview creatives and entrepreneurs from across the city to learn more about their passions and aspirations. This week, we got up and personal with Jaelle Ang, the founder and CEO of The Great Room.

Image courtesy of The Great Room

A Little Background…


Quarry Bay’s The Great Room aims to foster workplace wellness by addressing mental, physical and nutritional needs, while encouraging intellectual stimulation and creativity.

Image courtesy of The Great Room

Founded by Jaelle Ang, a businesswoman who was previously the Head of Real Estate Development SET-listed Country Group Development Public Company Limited in Thailand, the co-working space is one of the latest stunning ventures in the city, welcoming budding entrepreneurs and business clients to reside in a stunning, comfortable environment. Ang has been covered in print and broadcast outlets including The Straits Times, CNBC, Chanel New Asia, Money FM and The Edge. She was also listed on the Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list for defying stereotypes and breaking down barriers in the industry.

Image courtesy of The Great Room

The Questions


1) Can you tell us about your background before you started The Great Room?


I am trained as an architect in London and spent many summers in China because my parents were working and living there. It honed my aesthetic tastes by watching two very different cultures and design scenes. I also have a few years of banking under my belt after business school. The Great Room is a culmination of the multi-facets that I enjoy, in particular, the creation of the future of workplace which I see as one that has it all—great design, tech-enabled, warm hospitality and a like-minded high- powered community.


When I was 12, I wrote this as what I would want on my tombstone when that day comes: “She always played her heart out on the field, taking long shots and braving bruises. She was never on the sidelines.”—I live by that philosophy.

Image courtesy of The Great Room

2) What inspired you to open The Great Room?


Trained as an architect with a few years of banking under my belt, I moved to Bangkok in 2009.  Lured by a sweeping riverside plot of five hectares with a fish market and hundreds of squatters, I went about orchestrating the development of what would be one of Bangkok’s largest mixed-use developments—Chao Phraya Estate.  The development now consists of the Four Seasons Hotel, Four Seasons Private Residences and the all-suites Capella Hotel.


Watching how hotel brands and design can transform spaces, really lay the foundation and inspiration for creating ‘The Great Room’ for me. We know that the high-value part of what we call work no longer happens behind the computer. Work is being with other like-minded or diverse people, having ‘casual collisions’ and pushing boundaries. Everyday! At The Great Room, we are interested in creating the layers of spaces that let people thrive—sometimes that is allowing contemplation, other times, it is to allow collaboration. Even spaces for risks, for humour, or for delight.

Image courtesy of The Great Room

When I was 12, I wrote this as what I would want on my tombstone when that day comes: “She always played her heart out on the field, taking long shots and braving bruises. She was never on the sidelines.”—I live by that philosophy. —Jaelle Ang, Founder & CEO of The Great Room

3) How have you seen the demand in co-working spaces change over the past decade?


Flexible working real estate in Asia is now at 2-3% of total commercial real estate.  It is estimated to be at 30% by 2030, in other words, it will grow 10 times in the next 10 years.  It is a great opportunity to see and participate in that growth—it is probably the largest disruption that commercial real estate has seen for a long time. At the same time, workspaces are too often sterile and uninspiring.

Image courtesy of The Great Room

We knew that if we want to fulfil the growing demand for flexible workspaces, we would want to do it in a very different way. The Great Room is a relentless, naive but important pursuit to make the work environment as human as possible. More than ever, people are demanding more and more from their life; whether it is work or play, and the blurring of boundaries. This is a great opportunity for an operator like ‘The Great Room’ to lead the notion of “it’s all work, it’s all play.” People want to work in their hotel environments today.  They want to have their three-hour meetings there, they want a great coffee, they want to be inspired at their off-sites or workshops, and they want to socialize in these spaces. So, that’s what we’ve tried to create!

We know that the high-value part of what we call work no longer happens behind the computer. Work is being with other like-minded or diverse people, having ‘casual collisions’ and pushing boundaries. ——Jaelle Ang, Founder & CEO of The Great Room

4) Can you tell us more about The Great Room and what to expect as a client?