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Shanghai Tall Building Exhibition Presented ARC with Tall Order

How tall is tall? When it comes to buildings there is an organization that puts some hard and fast rules around the definition of “tall.”

This past September, that organization, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), held its World Congress in Shanghai, bringing together the world’s top tall building owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers, planners, and policy-makers.

There were dozens of exhibitors on the trade show floor, including a booth for U.S.-based architecture firm Gensler, the creator of some of the world’s most iconic buildings. The firm designed the new Shanghai Tower, the tallest of the tall currently under construction in the Pudong province of Shanghai.

In fact, the visuals that were to adorn the walls of the Gensler booth were photos of the new “supertall” building.

As big a deal as it was, however, there was a small problem. When Yanita Karatchorova, a Gensler China Marketing Manager, and Tony Mariano, a Global Business Development Manager for ARC, arrived to supervise the construction of the booth, they found that the printed images and the boards on which they were to be mounted were two different sizes.

Mariano was not deterred.

“These companies traveled thousands of miles to be here,” says the 27- year ARC veteran. “I was there to go the extra mile for them.”

“Unfortunately, our marketing group was given slightly incorrect booth dimensions from CTBUH’s organizers,” says Karatchorova. “Thankfully, Tony and his team were really resourceful.”

After rejecting the notion of cutting the boards, which would have severely altered the photos of the Shanghai Tower, Mariano settled on a less drastic solution. He trimmed just a little bit from the bottom of each board and added an extension so the cut couldn’t be detected. It worked perfectly, though it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took three days to assemble all the boards.

The other issue Mariano faced was getting the color for the panels behind the photos just right. The color was red, but not just any red. It was Gensler Red, which is no garden variety red.

“We only had a small swatch of their red to work from,” remembers Mariano. “And we had to print entire four foot by nine foot boards with that exact color.”

Similar to adjusting the boards to the photos, it took a lot of small adjustments to get it just right. As in most of its large color facilities, ARC employs a color expert in their Shanghai office who was able to adjust the red and make a perfect match.

“It took two days to match the color,” recounts Mariano, who at times was seeing a different shade of red. “Definitely a tough assignment, but I’m glad we got it right.”

All the hard work did not go unnoticed.

“ARC Shanghai’s energy, responsiveness, and commitment made our experience as smooth and gratifying as possible,” says an appreciative Karatchorova. “Their exceptional problem-solving skills allowed us to have an outstanding exhibit booth.”

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