PROJECT Gubei Lifestyle

a ghost

  • CLIENT Shanghai Wanguo
  • SECTOR Property
  • LOCATION Shanghai

Skills at play

  • Onsite scoping
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand design
  • Communication design
  • Way-finding planning
  • Signage design
  • Project management

In 2015, JWDK were invited to help transform a failed and empty office tower into a new commercial experience for the area of Gubei in Shanghai. Working closely with property innovation firm, Lifestyle Creating, JWDK developed a new strategy focussing on commercial businesses suited to the everyday needs of nearby residents as well supporting local businesses with the facilities they need.

To communicate the change, this led to a design solution focussed on re-skinning the building using large format graphics, colour and lighting under the banner of a strong logo.


The Feng Shui conundrum

A Feng Shui Master visited the site and highlighted the problems with pedestrian flow and various barriers that needed to be addressed for the interior space. The site lacked warmth and needed symbols of positive energy to be introduced into the brand and throughout space. He suggested the calabash fruit would be an apt symbol.

This analysis created a big challenge for the design team to solve. Yet after a few brainstorms and sketches we decided the logo could in fact become a representation of the calabash fruit made up with a series of brightly coloured ribbons. To the uninitiated viewer this logo has a feeling of celebration attributed to retail experiences and has a sense of fun. To the local workers and residents, this proved to be a welcome change from the previous ghost building.


The experience upgrade

Throughout the common parts, we applied large scale images of people and lifestyle during the launch stages. We chose warm materials such as natural timbers to clad the cold marble walls and columns and bespoke directories were designed and built to uplift the quality and ambience of the lobby.


The results

Since the launch of the site in late 2016, the developer has experienced full tenancy throughout the tower and is now busy during every day of the week. It features a local cinema, restaurants, bars and even a fencing school for children.