- Lead Architects:Julia Capomaggi, Lluís Ortega, Shanshan Qi
- Design Team:Aslinur Taskin, Juan Cantu, Chen Wu, Zhixuan Wei, Jieying Luo, Panyun Li, Kevin Feng, Guohua Gu
- Engineering:Zhejiang Dadongwu Construction Corp.
- Contractor:Hernan Zhongxin Construction Engineering Co., Ltd.
Text description provided by the architects. Xpace Digital Park recycles a compound of unused old factories in Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou, China, into a new Startup Campus for Tech companies. The project updates the existing buildings supporting a new identity for the site transforming it in an urban attractor. The property has several large buildings and is surrounded by a very differentiated perimeter, with heavy traffic roads and one water stream. The design proposal focuses on two strategies: The first one builds a campus from many buildings. The intervention unifies color and material treatment through façade transformation, painting, and landscape interventions.
A new volume for the entrance is built connecting the two largest buildings changing the access patterns of the compound. Car circulation in campus is pushed to the perimeter emphasizing pedestrian access. The second main strategy focuses on the construction of a new identity for the place. It is achieved through a wrapping envelope that improves sun protection and privacy level of the openings of the façade while shaping a new identity. The new skin was designed parametrically to construct a choreography that responds to several systems simultaneously. The new facade is built on top of the existing one, integrating both, and it is composed of prefabricated aluminum vertical louvers. The distances between them and their curvilinear geometry are based on the negotiation between the position of the existing fenestration, the orientation of the façade, and the exterior points of view from which the building will be perceived. Each louver has a different form and it is placed at a different distance from the next one to optimize the set by reducing the number of louvers while maximizing the visual effects that are produced.
The resultant pattern recognizes the different conditions of the perimeter, with an elegant, subtle, smooth curvilinear order that reacts to the highway speed car-based surrounding and adjusts to the tranquility of the water stream. The whole skin builds a curtain-like effect that elevates the urban background. At a close-up scale, the pattern helps the navigation of the campus by a differentiated shadow-based effect that emerges from the interaction of the new skin with the old factory.