The “One Clariant Campus” in Shanghai is approaching completion

Clariant, one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, decided to centralize its operations in Shanghai in the “One Clariant Campus” (OCC), a 10-storey Regional Headquarter office building with a 4-storey R&D facility hosting Clariant’s Regional Innovation Center (RIC). Clariant chose the Swiss architecture company VIRTUARCH as its design consultant for the project from the very beginning, and then entrusted VIRTUARCH with the interior decoration design for the campus, in charging also for the workplace change management process.


Sustainable and Healthy Workplaces

VIRTUARCH brought in its experience and comprehensive competencies in workplace strategies and in sustainable building design. The OCC project aims at receiving 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).

Change Workshops as Integrators

To put the project on the road to success right from the start, VIRTUARCH led a series of the so-called OCC Change Workshops. VIRTUARCH was leading and moderating change management and change strategy workshops throughout the entire project duration, involving all relevant stakeholders and future users to study their needs and to create excellent workspaces.

Clariant and VIRTUARCH received valuable first-hand feedback from the future users, while the representatives of the different departments were brought on board. “In a series of change workshops we lead the process of change management, involving the key stakeholders of Clariant by carefully listening to their needs, by proposing options for them to choose from and finally by leading them through all steps of the project realization till successful move-in”, Daniel Heusser, President of VIRTUARCH explains. “Our Change Workshops function as integrators for the team of future users, preparing them for their future ways to work.”

Daniel Heusser, President of VIRTUARCH explains the idea behind the concept and design.

Change Workshop V: Exploring the Site

The fifth Change Workshop held on August 19, 2020 focused on a site visit for the employees of Clariant. For the very first time they had the opportunity to enter the building, which is still under construction, walking around in the key project areas and getting an impression of their future workplaces. On site, the experts of VIRTUARCH and the involved partner companies explained the main aspects of the future working environment. The workshop was attended by more than 50 people.

Karl Werner, Technical Project Manager at Clariant, opened the Workshop Sessions giving the participants a good overview of the status of the project. “I think it is very important to involve our employees in such an important project, as we want them to identify with it. Take this great opportunity for all of us to play an active part in the workshops”, said Karl Werner.

Karl Werner, Technical Project Manager, Clariant at his opening speech for the participants of the Change Workshop led by VIRTUARCH

First Floor: 

Making a Big First Impression

The site tour started on the first floor, where participants of the workshop could imagine what the main lobby would look like: A luminous 500 sqm space for reception including a lounge area and a coffee bar. For the infotainment of the visitors a video wall and a special interactive projection screen visualizing the history of Clariant will be welcoming the guests.

Led by Andrea Lupoli, Chief Designer of the OCC at VIRTUARCH, the participants of the Change Workshop enter the new office building for the first time   

On the first floor also a conference hall will be welcoming up to 300 guests. The conference hall can be divided into two conference rooms by a special operable wall. Special attention was given to the light and the acoustic design of all spaces; a special acoustic metal ceiling helps reducing the reverberation in the generous open public spaces.

Third Floor: 

Relax and Communicate

On the third floor, visitors got an idea of the future work café. The space will be a unique mix of industrial charm and an organic appearance, matching its purpose to both serve as flexible ‘nomad’ workplace, informal meeting and collaboration space and as dining area. The visitors were impressed by the generous space dedicated to relaxing and dining, providing an atmosphere for pleasant social interaction. The future gym area and the two roof terraces were receiving enthusiastic feedback, too.

Ninth Floor: 

“This is Where We Will Work”

Lively discussions when testing the mock-up of their future workplace

One of the highlights for the employees was the ninth floor, one of the office floors where they could experience their future workplace testing the mock-up desks. Being actually onsite, they could get a touch-and-feel experience of the main parts in this area. “I was pretty impressed by the double-Y working island with adjustable desk height. The special lighting post integrated with vertical cable management is really practical,” one of the participants said. Another visitor especially liked the curved double-glazed partition for the inner “core” of the open office space. “This gives me a good impression how I would feel when actually working here. And it already feels good.” Also the acoustic backwall mockup, the toilet mockup and the combined façade cabinet / fan coil unit mockup gave the visitors a sense of what the quality of their future workplaces is.

Tenth Floor: 

The Conference World

Andrea Lupoli introduces the townhall area of the conference floor

The 10th floor is dedicated to meetings and conferences. Visitors of the tour could get an idea of the Piazza, the central townhall area dimensioned to host 80-100 people for team briefings and high-level gatherings. This place is illuminated by a special curved skylight and surrounded by several meeting rooms of different shapes and sizes to cater for the different needs.

The R&D Center

VIRTUARCH then directed the participants to the technical centerpiece of the project, where they got a glimpse of the 4-storey R&D center of the new ‘One Clariant Campus (OCC)’. The R&D area is divided into two wings which are vertically connected by courtyards illuminated through skylights. The different floors are connected by open glazed staircases. All laboratories are visually connected to the central open office area, strengthening the sense of openness and cooperation.

Andrea Lupoli and Daniel Heusser from VIRTUARCH showed the participants of the Change Workshop the new office spaces

A Strong Presence in Shanghai

A walk around the building finally rounded up the tour, showing how the building blends into the environment in Shanghai’s Minhang District. The staff of Clariant were impressed by the building that will host them in future. Clariant’s OCC will certainly mark a strong presence of this Swiss Special Chemicals company in Shanghai.


Detailed Answers Give Confidence

To conclude the workshop, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions and to discuss all aspects of the project with the experts of the project team. One of the questions was why the future users were not allowed to open the windows. Mr. Karl Werner explained that the reason behind that decision were the very high requirements on air conditioning and pollution control. If the users are opening windows, the air quality, the humidity level and the room temperature cannot be controlled within the parameters set by Clariant. Also the energy efficiency of the system would be impacted by windows being opened; the system chosen is guaranteeing the best energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Happy End: Successful Change Workshops with over 50 participants excited to move into their new workplaces soon

The participants left with a good understanding of what to expect when moving to the new ‘One Clariant Campus’. “We have seen the enthusiasm and the curiosity of the participants during this workshop on site. We believe that this day was a very good step for preparing the people for their future workplaces. In the end, it is precisely these people who should later feel comfortable in ‘their’ building and bring it to life.” Daniel Heusser drew a positive conclusion.





PROJECT SIZE: 20,000 sqm

PROJECT DATE: 2018-2020


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