From the architect. DEEJ is the new campus in Shangdong, China, designed for Shandong Dong-e e-Jaio, a Chinese pharmaceutical company that creates a range of health-care products derived from traditional Chinese medicine dating back thousands of years.
The campus serves a dual function as a state-of-the-art production facility and as a showroom that invites consumers to see how the goods are made, learn about the history of the firm and about ejaio, its most important ingredient.
5+design began with a master plan to resolve the layout of the campus and later designed all subsequent uses that include five factories and the visitor center.
Embodying the company’s products, DEEJ’s architecture blends traditional and modern material to create a cohesive language throughout. Glass, concrete and a metal panel wall hexagonally linked, wraps around the visitor center, giving the building an appearance of weightlessness and replicates the company’s hexagonal brand logo in form.
Three perforated patterns of the hexagonal wall overlaid on the solid building creates illusionary affects and plays with depth of field by appearing to flicker as visitors walk or drive alongside. At night, the wall is back-lit to continue the affect at sundown.
Once visitors drive past a stand of gingko trees onto the campus grounds, an immersive experience unfolds in a deliberate sequence of stops through buildings of glass, concrete, and stone laid out around a lake system. A large reflecting pool in the parking lot points the way to a low, cutout entrance that opens to a bright, spare plaza.
The tour begins at the visitor center, with its theater, amphitheater, and shop, and moves to five separate factory buildings via a series of glass bridges. Inside each factory, a curated pedestrian experience leads visitors through an expansive pedestrian corridor which features floor-to-ceiling glass windows sequentially placed to offer views of the production floor.
Landscaped trees frame roaming gardens while plants that include varieties used for the production of medical products create an escape outdoors. Modern monolithic pylons display each factory’s name and signage while the interiors borrow heavily from the motifs of the company’s brand packaging.
In its entirety, the project demonstrates how a sophisticated program codifies production with the public realm and deals with the reduction of scale-- from the vastness of the landscape, through the collection of the project’s public spaces, and into the personal with the curated visitor’s experience.