Project Architect: Yanlin Jin (Schematic Design, Development Design, Constructional Drawing Design), Jiong Su (Schematic Design), Qin Li (Constructional Drawing Design)
Project Team: Jiaqi Wang,Jia Li, Li Huo,Min Yang, Zina Li, Ye Li, Chang Chou, Yu Xia, Lei Lu, Weili Huang
Design Cooperation: Institute of Shanghai Architectural Design and Research Co., Ltd.
Client: Shanghai International Automobile City Development Co., Ltd.
General Contractor: Shanghai Shunjie Construction (Group) Co., Ltd.
Site Area: 24941 m2
Gross Floor Area: 36839m2 (Above-Ground Buildings), 10332 m2 (Basement),
Facing adaptability requirements of emerging industry space and high-density development model determined by the plan, as well as the context of the regional spatial cultural heritage on the non-characteristic sites, we hope to create a positive office environment with a spatial sense of belonging and cultural identity. Our basic strategy is to introduce a different R&D space combination model and be coupled with a multi-level three-dimensional courtyard organization to create a unique semi-public space for every entity settled in the block and then to promote exchange and sharing for future use in a variety of ways. Getting inspiration from the traditional garden culture of virtual-real complementation and varying sceneries with changing view-points, we regard the courtyard as the core organization space to improve the spatial flexibility and enthusiasm, and to create the landscape charm of garden culture on Yangtze Delta in such high density place, providing the industrial innovation space with spirit of regional culture. The three kinds of blocks with spatial prototyping are the "Wrinkled Peaks and Hidden Attics" for small R&D units, the "Elevated Courtyards" and the "Enclosure Courtyards with Duplex Units” for medium R&D units.
Wrinkled Peaks and Hidden Attics (C2)
For block C2, we tried to explore the small R&D units in their own independence, discussed on how to encourage a more creative future use and always regard the openness, integration and landscaping as a basic requirement. This block contains 12 small R&D office units, so we decided to combine them in cascading way and ensure that there is a independent entrance on each ground floor. The whole building is divided into two parts, a perforated pedestal with courtyards on first and second floor and five transparent boxes suspended on different core tubes in the upper fourth floor, in which the third floor are all overhead, up and down sharing roof garden. The roof garden is provided with a series of small gardens with different heights, they become the landscape and path transition between the upper suspension unit and the garden on the third floor. As the first and second floor have a large area of the internal setback courtyards, the entire pedestal has become a mountain in the abstract sense, in which we can view and also we can stroll. It's outer boundary is neat and the inside peaks is rising one after another with winding paths, while the upper part of the floating unit has become the looming scattered pavilion at the top of the peaks. We deliberately conceive the five-peak-like small gardens which are raised on the third floor as a series of large-scale potted tree-stone landscape, in order to reverse the discrepancy in scale between architectural and scenic images. These R&D combinations with artistic conception of natural scenery can be used as 12 independent R&D units as well as the expansion unit in the horizontal or vertical direction. They are even encouraged to be used as a whole R&D zone of 5,000 m2. The above-mentioned maximum flexibility can always be used to interact with our garden created in this “very small scale mountain”.
The design of block C1 and C4 is aim to provide large-span and high-open trial workshop without column on the ground floor and to provide a small-scale space model with flexible combination for the upper part of the R&D office space. Our basic idea is to divide the volume into four densely distributed strips, each of which is the long strip trial workshop with doors at both sides. The gap between the strips is the green roadway where people can walk through, and they provide lighting and ventilation for the upper R&D space. The upper R&D space refers to the traditional on Yangtze Delta courtyard house layout, forming the courtyard office space which can be flexibly combined both in transverse and longitudinal direction. This kind of combination is well prepared for multiple future use and maintaining the courtyard-style space particularity.
Enclosure Courtyards with Duplex Units (C3)
The block C3 is designed to establish the independence of each R&D unit, providing a variety of flexibility on re-combination in future use, and maintaining sufficient indoor and outdoor spatial interaction. Functional activities like display, communication are encouraged in each trial workshop on ground floor. The windmill shaped block is made up of four groups of duplex R&D buildings, in the middle of which there is a public courtyard where people can walk through. On the ground floor of each duplex building, each trial workshop enjoys an exclusive courtyard, while the upper R&D offices have scattered terraces or balconies with double-storey height large opening. Every two units can be connected on the different floors and in different directions.
All R&D groups have chosen grey white painting as a whole background color to keep enough consistency of architectural appearance. Since the blocks of Plot C are very different from each other, we unify morphological difference by setting different size and freely distributed windows in this scattered and organized concave-convex white volume background. We create relaxed and pleasant external atmosphere in such a high-density environment. The large-scale balconies in each block have provided the facade with deep, even volume-penetrating opening. The indoor and outdoor connecting experience is strengthened and public activity realm is created at different heights. The air connectors between different building volumes are constructed with glass curtain wall and double-layer perforated aluminum plate, which makes the volume translucent and fuzzy. In block C2, a light graceful and opening top is created by a series of suspended glass boxes. So the interaction between the building and landscape is intensified. The hidden trusses behind the transparent surface are not only involved in spatial and form construction, but also have maintained the legibility of large-scale cantilever structure.
The six or seven years elapsed from the design to the completion of this project happened to be the peak time and crucial period of China's automobile industry, which is turning to complete its traditional production scale, face the challenges brought by new energy industry, artificial intelligence, mobile internet and customer experience. It is gratifying that as the number of representative R&D enterprises are settled, the park space and environment have fitted their needs. The block open structure and the landscaping public space began to create a park community identity; different and flexible R&D unit combinations have facilitated creative spatial use; Auto Innovation Park is able to survive the future automobile industry upgrade and transformation.