SOHO China, a leading prime real estate developer in China, has recently set up shop on the Bund. Widely acclaimed for both a visionary business model and several landmark buildings, it’s an exciting time for SOHO China – expressed through design, the future is bold and bright.
AIM was chosen to design four spaces within the interior of SOHO Bund: the public spaces, basement, show office, and club. This project was a balance between past and future – the government of Shanghai is concerned with the Bund’s facade, and rightly so – we all love the 1930’s style buildings that look out onto the glitzy, modern towers of Pudong.
The idea was to simultaneously challenge and evoke the timeless character of the Bund on the exterior, and pair it with a contemporary interior design that was reflective of the SOHO China vision and brand image.
We used a simplified beige stone on both exterior and interior surfaces that recalls the material palette of historic Bund buildings and simple, strong white surfaces that bring us into the future. Small details like the 45-degree angles near the lift lobbies and the creamy stone colors offset the open floor plan and bright lighting, balancing the narrative of modern and jazz age Shanghai.
The mezzanine floor houses SOHO China’s Shanghai headquarters. The spectacular view informed many of the design choices – this space is used daily for sales and business, and needed a dynamic vibe to match.
We kept things simple and direct: shifting volumes, muted details and bright colors in the interior.
The outdoor space wraps around the mezzanine floor and features both stunning views of the Bund and Pudong, as well as a calming bit of green. A reminder that even in the heart of the city we can find a little peace and quiet.
Big windows looking out and the stairwell platform keep the tension between city and Bund at just the right frequency.
The staircase is also a nod to a similar stair in the Beijing headquarters – a design feature that connects the more uniform, corporate side with uniqueness of the Shanghai office.
Lighting can make or break a space. This is where people spend a lot of time so we wanted it to be both comfortable and sophisticated. We created a membrane skin for the ceiling lights, so that the whole ceiling gives light. An innovative, sensitive way to connect the indoors with the outdoors.
Subtle details like the custom designed carpets and art are in the spirit of the location, and give the expansive space a feeling of intimacy and luxury.
The SOHO Bund experience is orchestrated through the layering of old and new, glitz and minimalism, to create a lasting impression of energy, excitement, and change for the Bund and Shanghai.