Yidian Office Complex

Jacques Ferrier Architecture

Project Manager: Jacques Ferrier Architecture.
Location: Tianlin, Xuhui, Shanghai, China.
Photographs: Luc Boegly & Jonathan Leijonhufvud.

An urban project in a unique landscape.



The project comprises a collection of several buildings.

The buildings’ identity is defined by an interplay of folds and cuts, which give a variety of perspectives, views, light and heights. This variety provides functional flexibility while creating a strong image. The buildings are mainly north/south facing, which enhances the light and means that most offices offer a view over the canal. Many also feature loggias with views of the canal or the court.



A built landscape

Urban landscape and topography.


We have developed an urban topography concept to create a “built landscape” effect, where architecture and nature are fused and blended.

The site is located by the edge of a canal, which was previously hidden away from the public eye. One of the key points of our proposal was replacing the grey walls along the canal with a planted embankment. The tree-lined embankment is now a public walking path along the canal. Here, nature reclaims its rightful place in the heart of the city.


The office foundation is also treated as a landscape, a tree-covered relief with some parts turned towards the ground like an invitation to run across it. Local residents can even walk along a path on the roof of the ground floor. This foundation creates very clear divisions and gives an individual identity to the office space project. Next to the canal, the façade of this landscape-esque foundation of varying heights houses a number of activities, which can be linked to the offices or independent shops, creating lively public spaces.




This landscape-type design encourages permeability, in response to environmental concerns. More than a third of the site’s surface area is dedicated to green spaces, not including the foundation of the office structure, which is also treated as a garden.


Ceramic façades that create a sense of movement

Playing with colors and materials.




The ensemble’s façades are covered in vertical blades which protect the structures from the powerful Shanghai sun. They combine two different materials: one side is covered with pale gold aluminum, and the other with ceramic in shades of green and blue, depending on the façades, a traditional Chinese material created using ancient techniques. This dual interplay of colors and materials creates a sense of movement, a constantly renewed vision of the buildings within the city. Depending on their location, urbanites will see the complex as successively green, blue and golden.




East elevation




Project Owner: Shanghai Guang Dian Real Estate.
Awards: 2nd Prize for Design Excellence 2015, City of Shanghai.
Delivery: June 2015.
Partners, Structural technical design, Fluids technical design & Economics: Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tongji University (Group) Co.Ltd.
Façades: VSA.
Landscaping: DLC.
Surface area: 60,000 s.q.m. Gross Floor Area.
Cost: €50 M incl. VAT (2011 value)