SHH has unveiled its designs for the KWG BIOVALLEY, a medical research and development center in Qingpu, Shanghai. The research center is part of a new commercial park for 'Health and Innovation' in Qingpu district and specializes in pioneering medical technologies including stem cell technology as well as traditional Chinese medicine. The two different medical methods come together on the site and are reflected in the contrasts between technology and tradition, architecture and natural landscapes.
The new commercial park consists of five office towers linked by a retail podium along with eleven low-rise buildings bordered by green zones with access to a recreational promenade along the adjacent canals that connect to the Yangtze River. The brief was to deliver a series of lobbies, contemporary work areas, executive meeting rooms, open-plan workspaces and public spaces across the five towers. Two show offices will also be delivered in one of the adjacent low-rise buildings and are due for completion in Summer 2021. The design marries Western influences and natural materials to create visual connections with the surrounding landscape. The interior color palette and materials draw inspiration from the Five Elements theory of traditional Chinese medicine: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.
The design language of natural materials is consistent across all areas. The lobby and lift areas are bright and minimal, with granite tiled flooring, natural stone-lined walls and discreet green touches. Oak timber panels, stone and full height metal fins line the main lobby walls creating strong visual connections with the building's façade while in the adjacent lift area dark bronze panels wrap the walls and ceiling creating a strong contrast and depth within the space. "We designed a range of different zones to accommodate meetings, focussed work, team collaboration and socialising," said Brendan Heath Director Hospitality & Commercial Interiors. "The interior palette is a nod to the natural landscape outside and the resulting design reflects local cultures while celebrating Western influences."
The reception, lounge and open plan office spaces are designed to flow into each other whilst creating their own distinct zones. Full height metal-frame screens and open shelving are introduced to create permeable space divisions and circulation paths while allowing ample daylight to enter throughout the day. The open-plan reception and waiting area feature embossed mirror polished metal panels, their ripple patterning creating connections with the water element of the canals. Smaller built volumes including a pantry and private meeting rooms have been positioned around the perimeter of the office floor and break up the clusters of open-plan space.
A private wing for a company president has also been designed by SHH and is in keeping with the overall design concept, featuring large timber boxes, expressions of metal, and stone finishes. The private wing offers exclusive office and leisure facilities including a gym and dining areas. It also accommodates the president's private bedroom and bathroom as well as smaller private workspaces, a secondary reception lounge and a refined timber-wrapped tea room with bespoke joinery. The intention is to create a comfortable and functional environment that accommodates work and a home feel.
Images: Courtesy of SHH