diego fuertes + 100architects complete underwater-themed club-med headquarters in shanghai

diego fuertes + 100architects complete underwater-themed club-med headquarters in shanghai


product designer diego fuertes in collaboration with 100architects were commissioned by club med to design their new office space in shanghai. the french company was moving its asia-pacific headquarter to the recently completed bund financial center, at the bund, designed by foster + partners and heatherwick studio. club med is specializes in the market of all-inclusive holidays with many vacation villages and resorts in the most exotic and breathtaking destinations around the world.

all images © amey kadalgaonkar




fuertes as well as 100architects state that club med is an unconventional company, and their office should reflect extravagancy, presenting themselves as a young and fresh company. while brainstorming the initial concept, the first thought in which the designers all agreed upon was to design an office that inspires vacations, holidays, and reflects the happiness that one feels when arriving to a new sunny destination at the sea. although the scope of work included the design of the entire office, club med specifically requested to have special accents in the two main areas: the signature lobby, which would be the space in charge of offering a good first impression to clients and visitors alike; and the pantry, which is a social space for employees, rather than just a pantry to have coffee or breakfast.

the lobby is a space that welcomes visitors into the club med headquarters



additionally, informal gatherings and team building activities were intended to take place in the social pantry. the lobby, however, was conceptualized to mimic the feel of a swimming pool, in which visitors would be submerged under water. to create this illusion, a deep blue elevated pipe is designed to be hanging overhead, looping around the lobby defining different mini-areas within the lobby. the shape of the pipe projects onto the floor in order to enhance the virtual subdivision of the space, having two different materials on both sides of the projected pipe: blue PVC carpet as the pool water, and PVC wood flooring as the deck around the pool. the result is a multifunctional space in which each loop offers a mini-function, such as a reception desk, meeting room, waiting area, informal meeting spaces, hanging phone booths among others.

the subtle partitions serve as mini-functions within the office



as main features, a long yellow kitchen is designed to solve all the practical needs of cooking, storing and coffee making in the same space. a wooden mini-amphitheater is located at the end of the space in order to provide enough seating areas for hosting communal activities or public speeches. the working areas feature an open office typology in order to foster relationships among employees and directors. functionally efficient, working spaces count not only with long communal working tables, but also with private offices with glass partitions, enhancing transparency and bringing natural light to all corners. 

the meeting room

an alternative view of the meeting room

the blue PVC carpet act as the pool water and the PVC wood flooring as the deck around the pool

the chatting capsule engages employees to cooperate amongst each other

the chatting capsule 

the whiteboard room 

the designers include hanging greenery in order to improve office morale

the kitchen is designed to solve all the practical needs of cooking, storing and coffee making in the same space



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

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