ASPECT Studios has won a hotly contested competition for Alibaba’s headquarters (Park C ) campus project in Hangzhou. Design inspiration is taken from the Xixi Wetland, an icon of Hangzhou city. Based on the local unique ecological texture, ASPECT created a design proposal focused on an interconnected network of layered design systems. Water, biodiversity, people and culture come together in a webbed network of experience and natural beauty to create a stimulating and engaging campus environment for over 30,000 Alibaba staff.
With a focus on sustainable solutions, the design at its core looks to support the objectives of China’s target of being carbon neutral by 2060. To achieve this, standard approaches to design, construction and operation needed to be reconsidered. For ASPECT Studios’ Shanghai team, this focus gave birth to the “BioHabiNet” concept. The BioHabiNet system is a project specific evidence-based design approach to achieve an interwoven network of biodiversity, protected natural habitat, sustainable water systems and a community-orientated framework of places for people to engage with each other and nature.
A design for people
Understanding the unique culture of Alibaba and its focus on community lead the team to envisage a people-oriented campus that defines a specific program to support a healthy active lifestyle, while at the same time generating opportunities for campus staff to engage with nature on multiple levels. These humanistic systems are defined by three principal strategies – health, social and work – each defined and embraced by nature overlaid with a site-wide system of interactive technology.
The winning design demonstrates deep thinking about how to build and operate a substantial campus in a carbon-positive way. ASPECT’s approach was guided by the quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from producing, transporting, and installing building materials. Wherever possible, local, recycled and sustainably-produced materials have been used, complemented by an virous green urban forest and extensive indigenous planting schedule.
Alibaba Xixi Campus-Park C project positions the campus is as an interactive, immersive and iconic tech campus that supports Alibaba’s cutting-edge work. ASPECT’s winning proposal is under construction.