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Education as a brand
experience in China

Wellington College China : Shanghai

Wellington College is one of the most outstanding schools in the world. Their reputation for scholastic excellence and pastoral care keeps their position at the top of the private educational establishments in the UK.
Over the last six years, they have expanded internationally like many of the UK leading private schools. Their development in China is awe-inspiring, having built five schools that house over 7500 children across the regions. However, Wellington realised they had fallen short in the design of the interior experience of the schools. While it was a quality environment and completely fit for purpose, it somewhat lacked inspiration and connection with the brand of Wellington College. In short, it was not a differentiated experience from other international schools.
The question was, how could we create an environment for learners, parents, teachers and support staff that was inspiring yet captured the essence of the original Wellington College without reverting to the pastiche?

Space Zero was introduced to Wellington Collage China in 2018 by a former client. We implemented our unique process, developed in collaboration with consultants from brand and retail experience design, combined with our extensive knowledge of learning environments.
The experience was developed directly from the Wellington College brand strategy and created a new expression of the brand developed specifically for the China market. We collaborated over twelve months to design the entire school experience from ‘the inside out’; everything from receptions, classrooms, swimming pools and a boarding house, to where the printers go and how data is handled for digital display.
The implementation has now begun, and the first phase of delivery has been very effective. We have, for the first time in history, designed an environment that is not only excellent in supporting educational activity but also brings the Wellington brand to life, inspirationally adapted for a new country.
We believe the quote from the Master below says it all:
“The reception area is a place of civilised welcome and pupils and parents treat it as such. The effect has been quite significant because it has also ‘risen up’ onto the top floors; in particular to the Senior School, which is now directly above on the fourth floor. The whole effect has been calming. Parents don’t feel particularly inclined to hang out for hours either (good) and no food is being consumed as it was in the past.
Parents generally think it’s wonderful. I have heard some comments about the fact that it doesn’t feel like ‘a school’. This is meant as a criticism but it’s music to my ears. I don’t want us to feel like just another school. We now feel like a very serious education provider. Elegant and understated and professional.”