Petrofer office and R&D center

Project: Petrofer office and R&D center

Concept design team: Katarzyna Polus, Maciej Debicki

Area: 5333 sqm

Location: Shanghai, China

Status: Design development stage

Petrofer is a German company providing industrial oils and chemicals on the global market. The company, present on the Chinese market already 20 years, due to planned increase of production, decided to build new factory and office center in Shanghai – their main operation location in mainland China.

In order to build sustainable and well organized branch, company asked us to prepare concept functional plan and program describing their current and future spatial needs. That required us to include interviews with end users, local management inquiries and German executives new ideas for future company development.

Based on interviews, previous experience, case studies from other Petrofer branch offices and urban space requirements for particular plot, we could estimate spatial needs for little over 5000 sqm of office building detached from plant building and start to work on 2 concept designs.

One of the most important issues to solve, was the relation between 3 different main functions, the office should include. 1st was the proper office part, where local management supposed to be located and lead the company operation on the day to day regular basis. 2nd was sales and marketing department, where majority of employees spend over 80% of time out of the office, working with clients. 3rd was R&D center responsible for developing new technologies and supervising plant production, which required us to design proper lab facilities. Those 3 groups required also meeting space, where all collaboration may happen and other supporting functions, among others canteen for plant workers.

Due to additional requirements of the project minimal floor area, we designed an internal atrium surrounded by 3 offices and R&D floors, which areas decreased with each level, making the atrium bigger on the upper floors. The area was meant to become main interaction space and serve as the best image of fast-developing, future and science oriented company. To achieve that, we underlined R&D function, by exposing research internal meeting room by pushing them out of main elevation in interesting composition.

In the 1st concept, atrium is open to main entrance zone, which is 3 level high, impressive reception area enclosed in glass box and covered by sunshades panels from top. Building is more open and static. Main internal functions are exposed on the elevation by using different materials and size of window openings.

In contrary, the 2nd option atrium is enclosed from each side, which makes visitors surprised to discover space after entering through 1 level high reception zone. By pushing out 1 functional block from the architectural massing we created natural canopy over the main entrance. On top, there is garden accessible from both: R&D center and office part, which exposed on the main building façade underlines company environmental friendly philosophy.

Façade main materials, related to corroded steel, reveals company humorous approach, as the main Petrofer product – chemical oils – are used to prevent metal products in chemical industries from corrosion.

Project made by PLUSspace International

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