Product designer Diego Fuertes, in collaboration with design studio 100 Architects, was commissioned by Club Med to design their new office space in Shanghai. The French company was moving its Asia-Pacific headquarters to the recently completed bund financial center, at the bund, designed by English Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio.
Fuertes, as well as 100architects, state that Club Med is an unconventional company, and their office should reflect extravagance, presenting themselves as a young and fresh company.
While brainstorming the initial concept, the first thought in which the designers all agreed upon was to design an office that inspires vacations, holidays, and reflects the happiness that one feels when arriving to a new sunny destination at the sea.
Although the scope of work included the design of the entire office, club med specifically requested special accents in the two main areas: the signature lobby, which would be the space in charge of offering a good first impression to clients and visitors alike; and the pantry, which is a social space for employees, rather than just a pantry to have coffee or breakfast.
Additionally, informal gatherings and team building activities were intended to take place in the social pantry. The lobby, however, was conceptualised to mimic the feel of a swimming pool, in which visitors would be submerged under water. To create this illusion, a deep blue elevated pipe is designed to be hanging overhead, looping around the lobby defining different mini-areas within the lobby. The shape of the pipe projects onto the floor in order to enhance the virtual subdivision of the space, having two different materials on both sides of the projected pipe: blue PVC carpet as the pool water, and PVC wood flooring as the deck around the pool.
The final result is a multifunctional space in which each loop offers a mini-function, such as a reception desk, meeting room, waiting area, informal meeting spaces and hanging phone booths among others.