Fonterra’s New Shanghai Headquarters

  • Client Fonterra,
  • size 32,291 sqft
  • Year 2013
  • Location Shanghai, China,
  • Industry Food / Beverage,
  • Worldwide dairy company Fonterra is has begun to expand into Greater China & India, and will be spearheading their operations from the newly completed Shanghai HQ designed by PDM International.

    With aggressive expansion plans and ambitious internal cultural changes to help drive their vision, they turned to PDM for guidance on how to create an environment that could create identity, provide flexible workspace and embrace a community feeling that was absent in their current environment. PDM’s project team challenged the client to completely rethink their local philosophy and lead the development extracting the essence of the Fonterra values and their heritage whilst addressing their social and business objectives in China.

    Overlooking the ever evolving Shanghai skyline, views upon arrival through the reception have been embraced and showcased for all guests to appreciate. An appropriate brand presence has carefully been curated through the public areas to manifest the historical and technical achievements of Fonterra whilst still creating a mood of innovation and advancement.

    The design is an integration of facilities and spaces that flow into each other and, following a coherent branding language, create the overall essence and new corporate culture requested by Fonterra. This included creating a sense of employee belonging, open communication between staff and departments, the breaking down of physical and cultural barriers and infusing the office with an energetic sense of space.

    A combination of dual-use mobility based working points along with assigned desking caters to the needs of travelling staff and visitors whilst also providing interesting furniture landscapes for the resident staff to use when vacant. The large pantry space located at the heart of the staff floor fosters a sense of shared identity as well as being a venue for brainstorming sessions, product launches and caters to their weekly ‘town hall’ meetings that are digitally broadcast throughout the region by their CEO using integrated smart technology.

    The environmental brief was also imperative for Fonterra as was their ambition to adopt the highest standard of indoor air quality possible for their employees. This included a sensible and well researched adoption of materials with ‘green’ characteristics, reverse osmosis water filtration, a carefully designed HVAC system that included considered zoning of the floor plate and PM2.5 filters throughout the 3,000sqm tenancy, a unique integration of air purification and first for the project team and building owner.

    The planning approach also prioritised open areas and access to natural light for all staff with very few celluarised spaces. By minimising built areas and visual obstructions this approach assists with flexibility and allows future space adjustments to take place easily with little disruption to mechanical infrastructure and staff alike.

    The Shanghai HQ not only represents Fonterra’s brand identity and serious commitment to the region but it has also proved to be a valuable recruitment tool to attract and retain the best industry talent through engaging employees with a perfect balance of brand, identity, ergonomic solutions and tangible environmental benefits.

    Design: PDM International