The relationship between the Chinese and books goes back many centuries: they are the first population that saw, in paper, a powerful medium for sharing information – the perfect symbol of knowledge. Yushe Design aptly found inspiration in books while designing the headquarters of a Shanghai agency that handles data and information.

Focus Advertising’s new office building has a distinctive façade crafted from white waved steel that makes the building stand out among its surroundings. With this project, Yushe Design aimed to create interior spaces in which employees could reset and focus in the same way one can relax while reading a book.

Those entering the building do so through a ceremonial tunnel built like the pages of an opened book – a visual invitation to leave all noise behind. The office is divided in four floors: the bottom two host communal spaces such as informal meeting rooms, staff activity and leisure rooms and a dining area. The top floors host comfortable and quiet working areas built to support meditation and relaxation.

‘As designers, we can feel the power of knowledge and common information anxiety more than anyone else. The age of information explosion has certainly saved a lot of time but has also deprived the happiness of discovery and exploration,’ explains the director of Yushe Design, Xu Yi. ‘Today we obstinately return to more primitive standards of knowledge in a deep and poetic way – because we still believe that books are a permanent form of knowledge.’