Benoy, a world leader in Architecture, Masterplanning, Interior Architecture and Graphic Design, is celebrating its five year anniversary in Shanghai with the opening of two landmark developments. iAPM Mall and Jing An Kerry Centre have both launched to the public and bring with them award-winning designs and concepts to China’s largest city.
Benoy is now recognised as a truly international company with a global reach extending to over 50 countries. Asia, particularly China, has played an important role in the firm’s expansion. Over the last five years, Benoy has seen its turnover in the mainland increase more than 40%. Since establishing a permanent office in Shanghai in 2008, Benoy has built a strong presence adding Shanghai ICC, ifc mall, Plaza 889 and the new iAPM Mall and Jing An Kerry Centre to its growing portfolio.
“During our time in Shanghai we have seen our team expand from six to 50. Due to our large portfolio in the city, we have also had the unique opportunity to base our office in one of our own designs, Shanghai ICC. The exposure for us has been extremely important in showcasing Benoy; a factor which continues to contribute to the success of our pipeline of future work”, commented Trevor Vivian, Director in Shanghai.
Coinciding with their openings, iAPM Mall and Jing An Kerry Centre were both named winners at the heavily-contested 2013 MIPIM Asia Awards, taking home the Gold Award (Best Retail and Leisure Development) and Silver Award (Best Mixed-Use Development) respectively. Benoy was appointed for the full scope of work on iAPM Mall, delivering the Masterplan, Architecture, Interior and Graphic Design. For Jing An Kerry Centre, Benoy’s leading retail designers were commissioned to deliver the luxury retail podium connecting the mixed-use development.
The recent wins add to Benoy’s exciting outlook in the rapidly expanding city which notably includes the highly anticipated third central business district. The Lujiazui Pudong Qiantan development is set to attract over RMB 10 billion in future investment to the area and reflects Benoy’s reputation as a leading and visionary firm trusted to shape the landscape of modern Shanghai.
A British Brand in China
Benoy has been successfully performing in the wider China region for the last 11 years. Not only working in first tier cities, the firm has deepened its reach with projects in Chengdu, Shenyang, Tianjin, Jinan, Qingdao, Xi’an, Wuxi, Changsha and Suzhou. As a result, Benoy has gained significant experience and insight into the economic and cultural intricacies of operating in the country. As confirmation of the firm’s reputation, Benoy’s Chairman, Graham Cartledge CBE, was invited on the recent ministerial delegation to China led by UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.
“An important factor in our success in China has been to utilise local knowledge. Our developments are delivered by a team of local and UK experts, and we ensure both opinions are engaged”, explained Graham Cartledge CBE, Chairman of Benoy.
“To be successful in China, firms need to adapt their workforce. Sometimes we see UK brands trying to impose the same style that has served them well at home into different markets, and they wonder why it often does not work. At Benoy, we understand the importance and value of our local designers. This is why we are working with leading UK retailers to create stores that integrate into the local market but maintain their British brand”.
There is an increasing appetite in China for innovation which has offered Benoy the opportunity to work on large-scale, fast-moving projects. Benoy has subsequently exported its knowledge and strategies throughout its global team.
“Projects in China, for example, are much more focused on delivering a mixed-use offer. Town planning and new developments are striving to create 24 hour destinations combining living, working and entertainment with transport at their heart”, said Graham Cartledge.
“This is an interesting and pertinent concept, and one that can be applied in the UK and countries around the world. As congestion, increased populations and strain is placed on existing structures, new thinking and on-the-ground experience allow our team to effectively respond to these design challenges”.