Haworth Kerry Center Organic Office and Showroom

Haworth Kerry Center Organic Office and Showroom

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
/ By:
Jack Guo

WELL Projects

We’re proud to share the Haworth Kerry Center Organic Office and Showroom, a 12,917 square-foot showroom certified in 2016 and the first WELL Certified pilot project in China. An example of wellness, sustainability, creative thinking and beautiful design, the showroom reflects Haworth’s vision for its employees and its clients. The showroom is designed to accommodate different work styles, events and workshops while providing a sense of sophistication, style and warmth. Key project team stakeholder Davide Fugazza, Managing Director Greater China & North Asia, sat down with us to share their journey towards WELL Certification.

Why did you decide to pursue WELL Certification for Haworth? What were your objectives?

We had three primary goals in pursuing WELL Certification. These were: to provide healthy indoor air quality; to promote ergonomic appropriate posture and prevent prolonged sitting; and to improve mental health and reduce stress for our employees. These goals encompassed our commitment to all aspects of our employees' health and wellness, including their minds and bodies, inside and out.

We also wanted to engage with business leaders and the community to let them experience, firsthand, what was possible in wellness design. We firmly believe we can be a positive example in the community and help challenge the marketplace to go further. WELL Certification allowed us to reflect our values and demonstrate innovative wellness solutions in our own showroom.

At a glance:

Preconditions achieved

Optimizations achieved

Certification level


How did your team approach the WELL Certification process?

Our work environment has a major influence on our behaviour, so when we designed the Haworth offices, we considered wellness holistically. Our showrooms highlight the different ways we can embed wellness in our space. This is not only for our own benefit but also allows for us to be a living example for others and become a catalyst for wellness in the workplace in Asia.

We focused on elements ranging from nutrition policies to high quality air and water, to designing places to rest, recover, collaborate and move freely.

For us, it was also important to incorporate biophilic elements throughout the environment, bringing a touch of nature closer to all of us. We achieved this by carefully selecting materials and finishes and using spatial familiarity to foster psychological links to nature through the incorporation of plants.




Feature 5: Air Filtration

Intent: To remove indoor and outdoor airborne contaminants through air filtration


The Haworth office has an air duct filtration system that reduces PM2.5 and VOCs, and stand-alone air purifiers that reduce further particulates in the air. This filtration is combined with low-VOC materials to ensure clean, healthy air for all occupants.



Feature 73: Ergonomics: Visual and Physical

Intent: To reduce physical strain and maximize ergonomic comfort and safety

The space includes height-adjustable tables and ergonomic chairs, as well as remote standing tables at public areas, all of which are Haworth products. This access to a variety of work-stations allows employees to use different muscles by assuming different positions throughout the day and helps prevent muscle strain.



Feature 84: Health and Wellness Awareness

Intent: To promote a deeper awareness of factors that impact health and wellness

Haworth’s office incorporates biophilic elements including natural, reused woods in the flooring, wall plates and furniture, as well as natural greenery and complementary artwork. The integration of biophilia as well as signage to promote mental health awareness promotes office-wide well-being.



What challenges did you face as you were incorporating WELL features? How did you solve them?

As a WELL pilot program and the first pilot program in Asia, we had to collaborate with the IWBI team to accommodate cultural, language and time-zone differences. We adapted gym membership reimbursement policies to align better with local Chinese gym membership rates and worked with WELL Assessors across various time zones to ensure a smooth performance verification process. We also sought flexibility in spatial acoustics and noise criteria specifications to accommodate our hybrid office and showroom space. 

What positive impacts resulted from your WELL Certification? What post-certification metrics can you share related to outcomes?

We were thrilled with our post-occupancy survey results. Kind words from our community included:

“It is a wonderfully comfortable place to work and there are very few distractions to hinder creativity. There is almost always an available tool or room to allow any kind of work which needs to be done.”

-Alex Przybyla, xFriends Integration Manager, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

"The 20-year-old building presented significant challenges for sustainable design. However, we understand the importance of creating sustainable spaces and have worked hard to meet these standards. Our showroom has the extremely clear air in the context of Shanghai with a continuous air monitoring system in place."

-Davide Fugazza, Managing Director Greater China & North Asia

“I love that we have the ability to work anywhere within the space and that there are spaces that cater to every activity or type of work that needs to be done throughout the work day. The environment is warm, welcoming and encourages both focused and collaborative work – an ideal combination. I personally enjoy the biophilic design elements that have been integrated into the space, bringing the outdoors in. Being in a “concrete jungle,” it makes a huge difference to see greenery, plants and natural elements around you. Also, the 360 degree views of the city are beautiful and create wonderful natural lighting for everyone using the space.

-Angela Tang, Strategic Service Manager Greater China & North Asia

“The new space definitely provides all the necessary conditions to conduct a 'healthy routine' inside the office, especially for those who often do overtime. The way the space has been designed and separated positively influences the daily routine, making everyone less 'tired' of spending long hours in the office, thanks to the environment which has very little of an 'office' feel and provides everyone with the chance to choose what kind of working space most suits their mood or task for the day. I believe the two big improvements in our routine are the air quality system and the canteen area. The clean air that we breathe makes me feel better both physically and mentally, as I feel reassured that during the whole time I spend at work my health is being protected as much as possible (more than in my own home). The canteen area, with its 'coffee shop' feel and style, provides everyone with the perfect break-out area during lunch time. Most of our colleagues like to bring their own lunch, therefore having a space where everyone can comfortably eat at a table, have access to filtered cold and hot water and sufficient space in the fridge and microwave is a great benefit. I personally use this space and often choose it over going out for lunch."

- Kaiyan Teng, Customer Experience Manager


“The community areas, such as the foosball table and Xbox system, are definitely my favorites. They are a good, quick refresh when a break is needed and help to build camaraderie within our internal teams.”

- Dennis Yu, General Sales Manager East & South China


“Haworth’s Organic showroom provides us with a flexible workplace. As a member of Haworth, you can select anywhere you would like to work during the day. Lounge areas, circle conversation areas, bar areas and the back office are all good options and very multifunctional.”

- Jenny Tan, Business Development Manager

Haworth has an open invitation for its customers and partners to visit their showroom, explore the various areas, find out more about their journey and exchange ideas on improving the health attributes even further. Just as wellness at work continues to progress, the Shanghai office is a truly evolving organic space.

Project Team

Architect: CLOUD-9

Engineer: Glumac

Acoustics: JCK Acoustics Group, LLC

Air Quality: CleanAir Spaces (a HWS Group Ltd Company) / PureLiving China

Landlord: Kerry Properties