The aspiration of this global semiconductor giant was to infuse cutting edge research and development with the traditional, yet timeless architecture of traditional Chinese courtyards.
Exploring two schemes simultaneously, our team identified a unified design concept based on efficiency and spatial functionality, as well as innovative thinking in workplace design, building technologies, landscaping and exterior architecture, all enhanced by the best aspects of traditional Chinese building planning solutions.
A modern interpretation
Developed for an international
competition, the project focuses on a modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese courtyard garden house, or “siheyuan”. Offering an integration of functional spaces for interaction, work, quiet, and privacy, “siheyuan” walls provide security and protection against an often harsh and unforgiving environment. Unifying the interior and exterior architecture with the surrounding landscapes, the team approached the project merging the best elements of siheyuan planning with modern design sensibilities and building technologies.
The design concept of the first scheme features two buildings, each with two L-shaped wings to form a 21st century “siheyuan” around a central courtyard situated along the north-south axis. The north and west wings are slightly taller than the south and east. Two atria and a series of cascading balconies form an internal frame for the central courtyard whilst creating a varied vertical landscape. Embellished with plants, water, rocks and flowers, the central courtyard functions as a garden and an open-air living room. The balconies provide light and immediate access to the outdoors, as well as views into and through the central courtyard. These areas generate a cordial and friendly atmosphere at the heart of the complex.
The design concept for the second scheme deconstructs and reorganises the basic components of a traditional “siheyuan” across the site. The north and south, as well as one “side house”, have been transformed into tall, rectilinear building blocks. Meanwhile, the remaining side-house, positioned perpendicular to the office blocks, is re-imagined as a rectilinear, interconnecting atrium. This scheme aims to create a cluster or a neighbourhood of courtyards, each with their own unique nuance, yet all linked via a terraced, interconnecting atrium.
Combining nature and heritage
The landscape concept recreates a varied, natural habitat for an array of native Jiangsu wildlife including fish, birds, bats, butterflies, and dragonflies. The design comprises a variety of environments, including meadows, trees and a large pond with reed beds and wetlands. These wetlands form the heart of the landscape by naturally processing, cleaning, and storing water to keep all the vegetation lush and green. Incorporating essential elements from classical Chinese landscaping such as water features, stones, winding paths and framed views, the design presents interesting forms, shapes, textures, colours, and experiences throughout the year.
Connectivity and collaboration
The ultimate connecting element for Scheme One is the atrium space that interlaces buildings while serving as a social platform for staff to gather, discuss and collaborate. Fostering these connections and encouraging primary and secondary circulation around the atrium, mezzanine levels and garden spaces also enhance staff movement, productivity and wellbeing. The variety of indoor and outdoor spaces further contributes to this.
Scheme Two also celebrates the atrium as the main connecting element. Here, however, the sequence of buildings is simplified and honours the site’s topography by revealing cascading stairs within the central atrium. Visual connectivity is more linear upon arrival in the lobby. The strength of this scheme immediately reveals workplace activity. Populated with informal meeting areas, mezzanine floors and cafes, the atrium offers end users a journey through a variety of working points that enhance connectivity and foster collaboration.
Sustainability considerations for the design include green operations, creating a comfortable, productive, and healthy workplace, energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable and healthy transport options, recycling and electronic office waste management.
- Status Competition
- Area 430,570 sq-ft
- Location Nanjing