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Headquarter of PingAn life insurance in Shenzhen.

The greatness of this project stands in three key-elements:

1- The customer: PingAn Life Insurance. PingAn is the 2nd largest insurance company in China as per premium income, and its brand value reaches 16.3 million USD, overcoming Allianz Insurance.

2- The location: One Shenzhen Bay. This is the most high-end and luxurious area in Shenzhen where the price for an apartment starts from 45K USD/sqm. The PingAn HQs’ will be open in the tallest skyscraper, which hosts the Raffles Hotel (standard room at minimum 350 USD/night) and also the world’s highest ballroom (72nd floor – Guinness World Record). Moreover, the official retailers of Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce are all located in the same compound area. It is, essentially, as being in Milan’s CityLife, adding LaFayette – Paris, the Trump Tower – NYC.

3- The final customer: the PingAn’s own clients (life insurance holders). They are all wealthy people, the Chinese élite, looking for a unique and exclusive range of services and facilities for meetings, relaxation, etc. in a stylish and culturally vibrant environment.

Therefore, this is a great yet challenging project as it requires to merge functional elements (it serves as office and meeting rooms) together with the peculiarities of the above-mentioned three key-elements.

The final result may be hard to define and evaluate for now but, personally, I consider it absolutely unique. It may be summarily described as a 1500sqm office with a reception area, one open space where employees have their working stations, one lobby for the clients, 2 meeting rooms, 2 multi-functional conference rooms, plus 10 private and sound-proof meeting rooms with diverse design styles and atmosphere. In the public spaces, we opted for a modern, fresh, simple yet technological and warm style. During the day time, the lobby operates as a waiting area, negotiation space or bar, while in the evening it becomes an executive lounge (offering a fine selection of wine and spirits) from where you can enjoy breathtaking views over Shenzhen (from east to west) and Hong Kong, delighted by live classic music performances. The meeting rooms are fully equipped in order to provide all the privacy, safety and technological support needed (tv, computers, projectors, etc.).

The flagship of this project is represented by the ten private meeting rooms, each one with its own peculiar style and design concept. Five rooms take inspiration from the ancient Chinese dynasties (Tang, Han, Song, Qing, Minguo), while the other five reflect respectively the Italian, French, English, Korean and Japanese styles. The Tang room and the Italian room are equipped with lunch and dinner areas.

It has been a challenging project and my team had to first study and learn about the first customer – PingAn life insurance (its corporate culture, its modus operandi, its clients), but most of all they had to gain deeper knowledge, to do extensive research in order to fully understand the diversity of culture, history, traditions before designing the private meeting rooms.