British international studio Foster + Partners has won the competition to design the headquarters for Alibaba, in Shanghai. The newest building of the e-commerce giant will take a unique form generated by an algorithm that combines major aspects of the project.
Imagined as a “signature building for the company",the project is set to showcase the company's unique working culture to the public. Located in what is known as Shanghai Corniche, Xuhui Riverside is a new and vibrant area of the city. Opening up to the Huangpu River and the Pudong CBD, the building’s design creates a large inviting public space, activating the heart of the structure, and allowing “people a glimpse into the world of Alibaba”. In fact, the transparent project pushes the idea of communication, by encouraging visual and physical connection between the interior space and the outdoors.
We are delighted to be designing the new Shanghai headquarters for Alibaba, the world’s largest online retailer and e-commerce Company. Our design emphasizes the importance of communication, the integrity of the working community and above all, the creation of an image that reflects the standing of Alibaba. The scheme is truly designed from the inside out, centered on a dynamic, sheltered public space capitalizing on its amazing location with its views of the Huangpu River and the Bund. -- Luke Fox, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.
Generated by a “genetic algorithm to evolve the optimal massing”, the headquarters’ innovative design is “highly responsive to the environmental conditions, maximizes outside views, […] optimizes the massing to provide the best year-round user comfort in the central public space, and [creates] tailored workspace solutions for the different departments at Alibaba”. The naturally illuminated interior composition and arrangement of spaces, inspire engagement, teamwork effort and comfort. Finally, through a modular approach, the project will involve “off-site production for quality control, reducing wastage, and minimizing on-site operations to create an efficient construction program”.