Columbia Circle becomes new cultural landmark in Shanghai

  • BY
  • 15 June 2018
  • 4 min read

JWDK is proud to celebrate the official launch of our brand for Columbia Circle, a new cultural landmark in the heart of Shanghai.



To celebrate the rebirth of this historical destination, Vanke put on a dazzling launch event for guests including celebrities, industry leaders from the cultural sector and the senior management team of Vanke Group. A fantastic 3D light mapping show was projected onto the Spanish-style architecture, taking viewers on a journey through the history of the site. Further highlights of the night included impressive performances around the pool from opera, ballet and classical music groups.

JWDK was commissioned by Vanke in 2016 to create a new brand for the project. Our brand aim was to reignite the buzz of the former glory days. Under the steam of Vanke, Columbia Circle will once again welcome a buzzing social community for all in Shanghai to enjoy. From entertainment and dining to sports and games, people will benefit from a diverse working environment with a super-connected social network.

After delving wholeheartedly into the rich history of the site we could see great value in preserving elements of the original story for Shanghai to appreciate and cherish. However, the future of the site presented a new and exciting story to tell to Shanghai. Our strategy was to create a brand that could balance the dichotomy between a fascinating past and a progressive future. 

During our site research we observed a crest emblem carved into the stone fireplace of the old clubhouse. Bearing the letters CCC it represented the former ‘Columbia Country Club’.

The word ‘Columbia’ (derived from Columbus) has a strong association with America and the Club’s former life. We chose to retain this word in the name as a historical link to the past. Coupled with a reference to powerful social circles, we named the place ‘Columbia Circle’ — a place to connect, share and enjoy with other like-minded people.

The Chinese name 上生新所 (shang sheng xin suo) is reminiscent of the industrial past of the site while the word “”(new) implies the new lease of life for the community

We went on to design a new visual identity toolkit including logo, typography, graphical shapes, imagery style complimented by a series of striking colourful elements.

The brand identity has rolled-out across leasing collateral, leasing suite, onsite hoarding, flags, way-finding signage, invitations and digital marketing.

The place has attracted some of the world’s top 500 innovation companies to locate their China headquarters at Columbia Circle. Local brands like Naked Hub, PIRATA, Daocheng Bookstore, V Plus Fitness, Muse Group, Brew Bear, POPOLO also opened their new branch recently.

If this has sparked your curiosity, see our client story and portfolio here.