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Adidas China HQ by PDM International

Notions of team play and an athletic spirit infuse the China headquarters of Adidas in Shanghai.

Adidas China HQ by PDM International


December 11th, 2012

It’s easy to draw parallels between the playing of sports and the work of multidisciplinary regional designers PDM International for the Adidas China headquarters.

Adidas China HQ


First of all, like a good sports match, the design and build process for the relocation of the Shanghai office was fast-paced – a turnkey solution. Secondly, like a pre-match tactical talk, there were plenty of strategic discussions with the client’s steering team. And thirdly, the resultant office space itself encourages a mentality of team play.

Adidas China HQ

Staircase beside pantry

The interactive team environment is epitomised by the central staircase, which binds all eight levels of the 13,000-square-metre office with an iconic ‘3-stripe’ lighting feature. The Shanghai cityscape forms a backdrop – also to the adjacent pantry areas – offering natural light and inspirational views. The staircase zone acts as a social hub as well as a transitional space.

Adidas China HQ

Waiting area

Client-facing areas were designed with a generic aesthetic that would not favour any particular brand line. Energetic curving forms and dramatic lighting keep hold of one’s attention.

The large showrooms dedicated to each brand, however, were inspired by retail spaces and are used as mock stores for training.

Different business units are compartmentalised, but use shared facilities such as meeting spaces, utilities and storage pods. These shared elements serve as spatial boundaries, and also express the brand identity for a cohesive experience throughout the office.

Adidas China HQ


In areas of typical office space, various layers of formality and informality cater to the diverse employee base. Collaborative spaces accommodate teams and encourage interaction. Hotspots – both evenly distributed and unique in nature – are provided on every floor.

The most challenging aspect of the project, says PDM International, was balancing the needs of the individual with those of the collective. A rigorous briefing and design process ensured that the separation of brands does not inhibit communication or general traffic flow, and that the shared central facilities are easily accessible.

Top image: reception

PDM International

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