WPP Campus Offices – Shanghai

  • Client WPP,
  • size 484,375 sqft
  • Year 2015
  • Location Shanghai, China,
  • Industry Advertising / Marketing,
  • PDM International has developed the new campus of global communications services group WPP located in Shanghai, China. The project brought together 26 group companies and more than 3,500 people, is the most ambitious co-location effort ever undertaken by WPP globally.

    WPP signed an agreement to lease 20 floors and 45,000 sqm in Shanghai Jing AN / Zhabei district. The agreement represents the largest office leasing deal ever signed within the Shanghai CBD and PDM International Shanghai were directly appointed to design and build 75% of the interior spaces for their key agencies.

    The initial architectural studies of the building and its constraints started to shape a rationale and logical stacking plan that revolved around elevator banks and access, opportunities for staircase apertures and locations, how the fire code would shape the layouts and key security issues of the site and between agencies. Once we had this basic information we could start to apply the hard data from our briefing sessions and observation of current offices to formulate solutions to present back to the multiple stakeholders.

    Such an ambitious migration plan from over a dozen locations around the city meant PDM had to ensure a swift and coherent communication strategy and ensure a thorough dialogue with the fifteen plus CEO’s and MD’s was well established and addressed all of the end users aspirations.

    With multiple different workplace strategies in play (ABW, Agile Ready, fully designated for shared services etc.) the design teams had to be agile enough to capture the essence of the result desired by the agencies and create design solutions that were relevant, unique and particular to each client.

    This was done first and foremost by engaging with the leadership but also delving deep into the provenance and brand bibles of each agency. The guiding principles and narrative for each concept was initiated from these workshops and also understanding the current challenges the businesses faced in their existing offices and how we could help address operational inconsistencies to streamline their business by using space.

    One of the biggest challenges – and it was a big one – was most employees didn’t want to move. Some were reluctant to leave their centrally located offices in the lovely French Concession, with its wine bars and designer boutiques. Others were worried about personal safety, since WPP Campus is in a less developed part of the city near Shanghai Railway Station however the interior concepts and facility offerings of the campus were presented and buy-in from the skeptics was quickly realized.

    With these concerns voiced an extensive roadmap, communications plan and change management strategy was essential to ensuring the staff concerns were addressed and dealt with publicly. The key concerns within our sphere of influence were air quality, environmentally friendly materials, quality of light and space for all employees and an environment that catered to all of the basic needs of a employee that may face extensive hours at the office whilst being creatively stimulated, anywhere and anytime within the campus.

    To enhance internal communication and opportunities for cross-agency interaction a staircase was engineered through eight of the fifteen floors within our delivery scope. This was created like a ‘vertical village’ with amenities such as pantries and shared common space flanked by meeting facilities of varying styles and sizes that were easily accessible by all.

    The WPP Campus features state-of-the-art air filtration systems on each floor, reverse osmosis water filtration units, group-wide meeting room booking systems as well as an in-house café that serves all, extensive outdoor terrace and a dedicated training facility for education and presentation purposes. Over and above the green initiatives that provide tangible benefits the campus is also LEED Certified.

    WPP companies to the WPP Campus include: Added Value, Blue Hive, Burson-Marsteller, GroupM, Hill+Knowllton, Millward Brown, Mindshare, Medicom, Maxus, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, Sudler, and TNS, among others.

    Design: PDM International
    Design Director: Simon Park
    Photography: Arthur Shen