780 Tianshan Road, Shanghai

This is a refurbishment project of a 40-year-old 5-storey office block. The client is an underground detection company, whose philosophy is “seeing what you cannot see”. Therefore, a modern and minimal central corridor is designed where rooms are neatly concealed while the doors are subtly revealed. Original elements like windows and staircase handles are kept and repainted white to retain pale traces of time.

The design is based upon an “Old Shanghai” idea to connect the building with the local surroundings, and brass is used as the thematic design language. Considering the client being a Chinese company with many foreign guests, the designers transform Chinese philosophy into contemporary details to strengthen the client’s cultural identity and values.

Functionally, due to the small floor height and room size, the office ceilings are made of custom-designed aluminium profiles to enhance acoustics and hide indirect overhead lighting.


Project Type


Shanghai, China

Related links


  • Design Systems Ltd
  • Lam Wai Ming