One Clariant Campus: A Holistic Approach to Redefine Workspaces


In the modern corporate landscape, the concept of the workplace transcends mere functionality. It embodies an ecosystem where innovation, collaboration, and sustainability converge. This vision underpins the collaborative endeavor between VIRTUARCH and CLARIANT in bringing to life the visionary “One Clariant Campus” (OCC) in Shanghai.

CLARIANT, one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, decided to centralize its operations in Shanghai within the “One Clariant Campus” (OCC), a 10-storey Regional Headquarters office building with an annexed 4-storey R&D facility hosting CLARIANT’s Regional Innovation Center (RIC), spanning over 20,000 sqm.

VIRTUARCH was entrusted with the interior decoration design for the Campus and led the workplace change management process. The partnership was characterized by a commitment to creating workspaces that foster productivity and are flexible enough to meet the work needs of the future. Additionally, there was a focus on realizing a localized workplace that reflects Shanghai’s identity, demonstrating CLARIANT’s commitment to the Chinese market.

CLARIANT Team visiting the construction site during one of the Change Workshops held by VIRTUARCH

Holistic Approach

The One Clariant Campus project embodies a holistic design approach, seamlessly integrating every element to form a harmonious whole. The concept emerged from multiple workshops involving all the future users of the Campus, utilizing inclusive decision-making processes and change management initiatives.

Daniel Heusser, President of VIRTUARCH, during one of the OCC Change Workshops

Sustainability and Efficiency Through Advanced Technology

At the heart of the design concept lies a sincere commitment to sustainability and efficiency. The integration of state-of-the-art technology, such as the Building Integration System (BIS), streamlines facility operations by controlling all systems through a unified interface, thus avoiding conflicts, reducing energy consumption, and optimizing maintenance efficiency. This holistic approach not only reflects CLARIANT’s environmental mission but also enhances the well-being of its employees.

The OCC project has received a LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the most widely used green building rating system in the world) as well as the highest Chinese Green Building Certification. CLARIANT also decided to certify the building according to the WELL Gold Building standard (the premier standard to validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness).

Office Floors – Flexible Desk Concept

Tailored for the skilled workforce of contemporary Shanghai, the concept presents a dynamic workspace that reflects the work trends of the future. The office layout is designed as a fully open space that offers a flexible desk arrangement. Resembling a butterfly spreading its wings, the layout includes compact meeting rooms, dedicated focus rooms, and a few managers’ offices positioned around a glazed “core” at the center of the floor plan.  This arrangement allows the office space to extend along the building’s northern and southern facades, maximizing the use of natural daylight.

Meeting and breakout rooms in the center of the open space office

The Workcafé

The entirety of the third floor is allocated to the Workcafé, a spacious area comprising versatile and informal workspaces alongside relaxation areas. It features food bay-style bars where employees can dine for lunch or indulge in snacks.

CLARIANT’s Workcafé: A comfortable space to enjoy a meal or exchange ideas

As a Regional Headquarter, the One Clariant Campus is designed to welcome clients, partners and colleagues from all over the world. A generous, bright lobby with a Café Bar is open to the public.

CLARIANT’s  Café Bar in the Lobby: Welcoming visitors with a sparkle

The Formal Meeting Floor

The tenth floor is dedicated to meetings and conferences. An arena-style elliptical central “piazza” dimensioned to host 80-100 people for team briefings and high-level meetings. This area is illuminated by a special curved skylight and surrounded by several meeting rooms of different shapes and sizes to cater to different work needs.

The arena-style layout conveys an idea of engagement and open discussion conducive to innovation

R&D Center

The R&D Center spans four stories and is divided into two wings, interconnected vertically by a series of courtyards illuminated by skylights. Open-glazed staircases link the various floors, and all laboratories are visually connected to the central open office space. This design concept prioritizes openness and collaboration, reflecting CLARIANT’s dedication to innovation.

A flexible workspace and meeting zone in the R&D building that suits the work needs of modern and advanced enterprises

VIRTUARCH was honored to receive the Active House Award, representing a recognition of the project’s success. However, the true measure of achievement lies in the feedback from the numerous individuals who work in this building daily. For architects and designers, the ultimate reward is creating environments where people can thrive, innovate, and collaborate.

Project: Clariant OCC (“One Clariant Campus”) (Regional Headquarter And Regional Innovation Center)
Location: Shanghai, China
Built Area: 20,000 m2
Project Timeline: 2018-2020
Services: Architecture Consultancy, Interior Design, Workplace Change Management


VIRTUARCH is an international award-winning design and project management firm originating from Switzerland and with offices in Europe, China and Southeast Asia. With over 20 years of experience, we have successfully delivered more than 500 architectural and project management projects in China and across Asia.

If you are planning to build a new building, fit-out an office or would like to renovate your workspace environment, please feel free to book a call with us at

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