ALIBABA HEADQUARTER LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Internet banking can be considered one of the greatest revolutions of the 21st century. and it will bring revolutionary in tradition finance, and this park will become the global headquarters of Ali finance. Now that Alibaba Group belongs to the Internet financial industry, we strongly believe that the design of the New Headquarters Campus should follow an innovative approach, breaking the boring corporate-financial traditional design.

 

The landscape design reflects the rational set-up of the architecture but breaks its repetitiveness creating a young and lively environment. We designed an interactive outdoor space which is not meant to be just crossed to get to the office as quik as possible, but to be enjoyed and lived out of the working hours.

 

 

With the purpose of integrating the design with the context, the architecture and the surroundings, we based our landscape design on three simple principles:

1. Diversity & Connection
Diversity is what makes daily life in the workplace a vibrant experience. The diverse demographic Hangzhou West Lake District will create a 24-hour eclectic urban culture. A connection is created to tie the diversity of spaces together. This connection is the activating axis, which extends through the plot and unifies the divergent programmatic zones.
From the very beginning the main concept was to create an outdoor space that promoted encounters between co-workers and fostered unplanned collaborations among its diversity of users. Collaboration is about working with one or more people to achieve a goal, such as collectively creating content, brainstorming, etc. Ideally, all perspectives are equally respected, brought together to leverage the group’s shared mind. For all these reasons our design is based on three fundamental principles:

 

 

An open plans as much as an enjoyable outdoor space with design features like high-traffic staircases, multiple seats meeting areas, encourage accidental interactions between the co-workers. Purpose-free generic “thinking” areas in open spaces, also encourage workers to do their thinking in the presence of other people, rather than alone. Provide open settings where people can work while making themselves accessible to others encourage to develop a social network.

Provide more shared spaces, collaborative tools, work behaviors and common areas than are strictly necessary. Consider food as an attractor for bringing people together and multiple cafeterias and other places to read and work that encourage workers to leave confined offices. No longer bound by ‘”assigned seating” to encourage workers to switch where they sit on a regular basis to build stronger networks between people, projects, and ideas. Plan every setting as a collaborative setting to maximize the opportunities for collaboration.

 

 

Break-down areas are intended to encourage a mental and physical break from the daily races of the office. Investing in break rooms with some major essentials, will improve employees’ productivity and satisfaction almost immediately. Consider breaking down silos between teams by providing shared casual space for information encounters and sharing work. Areas where also people from different departments can meet and have fun helps to wind down and release the ternsions of a stressful working day.

 

 

2. Nature
The New Alibaba Group Headquarters will be located in the wonderful scenery of Hangzhou West Lake area right at the base of Meinv Mountain. The area extends with a gentle slope from the level of the road the hills, ending in two valleys surrounded by a thriving vegetation. A natural Camphora forest covers the whole South-Eastern side of the plot, while a beautiful Longjing tea plantation spread its plants along the South-Western side up to the built-up area.

Since we had the luck of such a beautiful surrounding environment, we naturally got inspired by it. All the features of our landscape design come from the abundant nature around the site: the spatial organization follows the Longjing tea plantations linear rows of plants; the strong presence of the water is due to the natural water springs flowing from the hills; the hundreds of trees planted on site represent an uninterrupted bond with the surrounding forests.

Spatial organization = Tea plantations
Presence of water = Natural water springs
Trees on site = Surrounding forests

 

 

3. Sustainability
Keeping in strong consideration both Hangzhou climate conditions and our strategy is to integrate into the landscape design a system of sustainable water management technologies.

An eco-friendly landscape design is the third major selling point of the new Alibaba Group Headquarters Campus. By preserving and enhancing the preexisting natural environment, we create the ideal working environment. By bringing on site the same local vegetation species we don’t break the ecological balance with the hillside. By designing a series of non-invasive water management technologies, we create a sustainable system meant both to reduce and recycle the abundant stormwater runoff.

Natural environment = Ideal working conditions
Use of local vegetation = Ecological balance
Water management tech. = Sustainability

 

LOCATION:

Hangzhou, China

CLIENTS:

Alibaba Group (China) Co., Ltd.

TOTAL AREA:

88,526 sqm

YEAR:

2015

STATUS:

Completed

STAGES:

Concept Design

TYPOLOGY:

Office

DESIGN:

MUDI, Martha Schwartz Partners

PHOTO CREDITS:

MUDI, Martha Schwartz Partners

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