Photo: Jennesh Joseph, MC2
The Honeywell Tecnology Center in Shanghai is an example of top flight materials and execution of a demanding design. The Center was designed by Richard Zampi, architect and principal of ZB SPACE (www.zbspaceinc.com) for Brand Experience's (www.bebrandx.com) client Honeywell. MC² built the center from an empty shell over a period of 3 months solving unique challenges along the way.
The Honeywell experience starts with a 30-foot entrance tunnel (pictured above). With tile floor and u-channel curved aluminum ribs, the tunnel's LED lights are show controled for any color combination and the eight 42" video screens show Honeywell and visitor-specific videos. The lighting tricks the eye into thinking the walls of the tunnel are round, but the curved aluminum site in a square sheet-rocked outer skin, painted black.
The Center itself consists os a VIP areas and areas devoted to Honeywell's business sectors – industrial, energy, commercial, transportation and home.
The VIP or staging area has three 12x18 curved walls which are on tracks surmounted by a tapered ceiling in traditional Chinese style. With smoke machines billowing, the walls part dramatically to reveal the product areas behind.
Of the five areas, the transportation area presented the greatest challenges and the most satisfaction in solving them. The transportation "room" was designed as an airport landing strip with three planes in the queue to land. Inlaid runway lights in the floor and a rear projection screen of a life size plane on the ground set the stage for the three scale-model jets suspended from the ceiling. The challenge is over to the side. A full-size business jet body and actual interior. The plane was too large to deliver through any of the normal freight entrances, so the side of the Honeywell corporate building was removed to put the plane in place. MC2 figured out how to paint it right on the floor of the Center by surrounding the fuselage with a temporary paint spray booth.
The interior of the plane presented another challenge. It was mandatory to have air conditioning inside the cabin, but no ventilation could show that would take away from the experience that you were inside a real plane. Trust MC2 to come up with the answer. First, we noticed that the channel opening for the LED lighting permitted an air conditioning unit mounted out of sight to flow cold air down into the cabin. Next, we removed the windows of the plane to pull the air though the cabin to cool it off.
Other examples of MC2's smart thinking were:
- To buy a car in Shanghai and hire an autobody shop to cut it in half instead of importing one from the U.S.
- Purchasing carpeting in China instead of importing it
- Substituting four interlocking flat screens in the cockpit with the electronics in the nose cone instead of a flight simulator which did not make it through customs.
- As the Technology Center is on the third floor of Honeywell's corporate offices, we created an 8x40 foot seamless fabric lightbox for the Home area to simulate a lush green garden outside the wrap-around living room windows.
The international team was headed up by Las Vegas' Jenesh Joseph and Peter Stevens from Northeast working with craftsmen and artisans from the Shanghai region.