red star macalline campus exterior at night red star macalline campus exterior at night view above reception looking at wooden stair

Lifting a leading Chinese furniture retailer to the international stage

Red Star Macalline, Shanghai

Red Star Macalline is China’s leading furniture and home furnishing retail brand, operating a range of shopping malls and home-improvement centres. Established in 1986, the company has ambitious plans to spread its wings and become a recognised name in e-commerce and on the international stage.

At a glance

  1. Relocating the business to a new 330,000 sq. ft headquarters.
  2. Supporting innovation and growth in a fluid, functional space.
  3. Creating a sculptural wooden birdcage from almost 500 parts.
  4. Delivering a multi-award-winning office space.
person standing at reception entrance
people sitting on soft seating having phone conversations
detail of woman looking out at views
detail of woman walking

An important part of this new dawn for Red Star Macalline was its relocation to a new 330,000 sq. ft headquarters in the strategically important Hongqiao Central Business District of Shanghai. We were commissioned to oversee the design of the new space, a complex, large-scale job across two buildings linked by a dramatic central atrium.

Our goal was to create a contemporary, fluid and functional workplace, encouraging innovation and business growth. And to integrate wellbeing features throughout to keep employees happy and healthy. We provided a full range of integrated services to meet the brief, including workplace strategy, interior design, MEP and construction. Super-efficient project management and processes were needed to meet quality expectations and deadlines.

two floors of workplace connected
internal staircase connecting office floors

As you enter the building, you’re greeted by a bold, sculptural wooden ‘birdcage’ in the entrance, a nod to the Chinese proverb “a thousand birds returning home” — highly suitable for a furniture retailer. The spectacular structure is made of almost 500 customised components and finished in wood veneer. It provides a visual focus as well as housing dynamic functional space.

The office design was based on rigorous workplace strategy studies, which called for various floor layouts to suit different departments. In the online business department, for example, working process are built around rapid iteration and collaboration, so a flexible, modular layout was designed. This features break-out areas, phone booths, informal workstations, and meeting rooms of different sizes.

office gym with running machines and track
training space and auditorium with lots of seats
empty meeting room

Work floors also feature a variety of design styles, materials and furniture to showcase the wide range of products that Red Star Macalline sells. As well as creating visual interest and rhythm, it’s an effective shop window for the company’s portfolio. This joint workplace and product display area becomes a memorable, intertwined part of the brand journey.

With staff wellbeing front and centre, spaces have been carefully designed to create a relaxing, comfortable environment, with plenty of natural light and indoor planting, along with shared staff amenities, including a reading area, a gym and two sleeping rooms.

Red Star Macalline’s HQ is a multi-award-winning office space, having been recognised at the AIA International Region Design Awards 2020 and the Interior Design Magazine 2020 Best of Year Awards.


2020Interior Design Magazine - Winner

2020AIA International Region - Commendation



Completion date





330,000 sq.ft


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