The search for aotu’s company name and logo were derived from 3 main axes. The graphic, meaning and pronunciation had to match in English, French and Chinese. In English and French the 4 letters aotu are the abbreviation of ‘architecture office technique urban-planning’. In Chinese, the凹character (pronounced ‘ao’) and the凸character (pronounced ‘tu’) literally means ‘convex’ and ‘concave’. It is also the plain / void couple. Philosophically, the meaning signifies how the ‘plain’ works together with the ‘void’, the space: it is the meaning of our work as architect designers.
In our logo, that meaning is both clear in Chinese and English, which symbolizes the heart of our work: it is the symbol of construction or assemblage just like two window profiles or a curtain wall frame that clips together. The logo outline is a golden section rectangle (1/1.618), It is made of the two Chinese characters凹(ao) and 凸(tu). These 2 Chinese characters have very simple but meaningful graphics, and that is aotu architecture office work’s direction, going toward a simple and pure architecture that is made out of clear spaces, geometry and construction systems.
aotu office space
aotu office space is located at the back of ‘bridge 8’, a place where all well-known international architecture companies in Shanghai are located. Our office space is a 200sqm, 2-story platform that includes reception desk, meeting room, lounge, kitchen + bathroom compact block, model room, material sample room and finally a work space (12-15 seats).
Our project approach does not follow any pre-established idea or philosophy. Our design process follows a methodology that first integrates and analyzes a maximum of parameters regarding the project. Like a mathematical equation, every project’s architectural equation found its solution in an idea / concept: an architectural ambition.
First, the site and program analysis let us distinguish the project’s context: urban, political, economical context, etc. The interpretation of this context is one of the key points of our methodology.
Our experience acquired in Asia (Korea, China and Hong Kong) taught us some very important lessons: the program and site instability as well as the construction process are now some important parameters of our design methodology: the project is a living subject and definitely not a finished object.
Nevertheless, the project is not only an idea but exists also though material nature and technique. This is why we pay much attention to the construction details in our design and try to introduce our projects here from the very large scale (urban planning) to the very small scale (construction details).
We follow this way to presents our projects in our office presentation brochure and website but nevertheless it remains quite brief as our purpose is only to introduce our work’s methodology and illustrate our experience.
Our design team combines to offer a large panel of skills: urban planning, architecture, interior design and design (furniture). All the team members had previously been working in well-known international foreign companies (French, Korean, Singaporean, American, and Hong Kong) . aotu office has 8 office team members : 2 architects - 3 interior designers - 1 Site Manager - 1 3D - 1 Secretary/Accounting