Huabao Headquarters (Phase 1), Jiading, Shanghai, China
M Moser Associates

To support their evolution from a domestic brand to an internationally-recognised leader in the fragrance and flavour additive industry, Huabao decided to transform their 1980s purpose-built Shanghai factory site into a global headquarters campus. A new headquarters building adapted from the site’s existing office structure would be the centrepiece of Phase 1 of the master plan.

The design-build approach included the removal of the building’s existing disengaged façade and maze-like interior. These were respectively replaced with glass curtain walls and an open-plan interior scheme. Stone cladding and perforated screen wraps were designed to soften the existing building’s monotonous geometry.

The revamped headquarters’ design stems from concept of ‘Stepping into Nature’ which draws a connection between the natural elements in Huabao’s products, the building’s surroundings and its interior spaces. Its most visible expression is a perforated facade system which creates a ever-changing ‘sun dappled’ effect inside the building, provides stunning screened external views, and gives the building an intriguing backlit appearance at night without the use of façade lighting

The facade’s perforations are repeated as a motif inside the building, enhancing visual continuity between the exterior and interior. ‘Stepping into Nature’ is also expressed through the interior’s simple, elegant palette of natural colours and materials. In contrast to the building’s original cellular-type interior, the space is now open and optimised for collaborative work.

Project size: 3,500sq.m

Completion date: January 12, 2013

Design team: Nabil Sabet, Michael Du, Leslie Jiang, Clement Fung, Grace Gang, Lily Huang, Teresa Jan, Sung Lee, Gus Neidinger, Douglas Newkirk, Sisi Powlick, Tracy Pan, Feng Yu, Denny Zhou

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