The transformation of this old battery factory was more than just a simple urban regeneration project — it was a chance to pump new life into an old part of the city. Our challenge was to preserve the historical features of the old factory whilst creating a new thriving destination brand for the young creative people of Wuhan. The site was to contain work studios across all upper floors with a common retail area on the lower levels.
The core of the design research focussed on the human needs of the future occupants, types of retail and businesses we could attract and benchmarking against successful international regeneration projects.
Inspired by the history of the factory, the brand was positioned around an idea of ‘pumping positive energy’. We wanted to create a buzz of innovation along with a healthy lifestyle. The English name, Powerhouse reflects this positioning well — a place where things happen. The Chinese name provides locals with instant recognition of the site’s location along well-known Taipai Road in Wuhan.
The power concept manifests itself throughout the site with the use of vibrant colours, neon signs and graphical brand walls designed to inspire and activate the working community. The central covered courtyard invites the public to enter the heart of the site where events are hosted each month and people gather to socialise after work and on weekends.