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AIA award for industrial-to-office transformation

The headquarters – originally an industrial building – was highlighted at the AIA HK’s annual Honors & Awards ceremony held in Hong Kong on 30 September. M Moser Chairman and Founder Moira Moser and members of the Shanghai team behind the building’s transformation were on hand to receive the award.   

A division of the giant Bertelsmann group, arvato is a specialist in digital marketing, customer relationship management, supply chain management, financial and IT services. They saw the project as a way to consolidate Shanghai-area staff under the single roof of what was then a light industrial structure.

The M Moser team led the entire process of its repurposing; from carrying out due diligence of the original building, to developing the design and engineering, and construction and fit-out. Along the way, they collaborated closely with arvato to ensure the result would precisely meet all the company’s spatial and strategic needs.

Starting with the main entrance, the entire building was transformed into a series of large working environments arrayed around a distinctive ‘Idea Hub’ – the collaborative nerve centre of the building. Virtually all the headquarters’ spaces are open-plan to enable easy reconfiguration and natural lighting from the building’s existing skylights. The new interiors are warm, vibrant, and very conducive to team-building and collaboration.

Remarkably given the extent of the transformation, much of the original structure was retained intact, which boosted the project’s sustainability while cutting potential costs.

Nabil Sabet, who heads M Moser’s Shanghai office and served as director of the arvato project, comments: “We thank arvato for their vision for this project, which really shows how you can get an absolutely contemporary and effective office from a building made for an entirely different purpose. It’s a relevant prospect for many companies today, and our team relished the challenge of making it work.”

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