Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp Architects) have won the design competition for global smartphone producers Xiaomi's headquarters in Changping Future Science City in Beijing. Titled “Mi Cube”, the project reflects the company's philosophy of “Smart Technology, Minimalist Design” through an architecture that combines a geometric and structured facade with a multifaceted and dynamic interior sequence of spaces.
The architectural design of the corporate campus features a 60-meter-tall structure, opposing a glass cube that contains interconnected platforms and volumes of open landscape workspaces, offices, and conference facilities. Cubic modules are stacked in staircase formation around a central atrium, and connected through four core structures and bridges. This geometric configuration creates different levels and sky gardens that can be used in flexible layouts, and offers dynamic places for communication and socializing, as well as a wide range of views within and around the building.
The facade also reflects the architectural concept of the building, with the offices' deep vertical windows that contrast with the fully glazed facades of the atriums. All office buildings on the campus follow the same design strategy, creating a unified identity all around the headquarters.
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The new headquarters will feature an extensive landscape park that connects with the lines of the research and development buildings, forming an orientation towards the green center. "Mi Gate", which serves as a gateway to the campus, is an open pathway that cuts through through the building from an underground station in the southeast towards the park and the "Research Center". The pathway is accessed via a courtyard that opens onto the park, and is spatially enclosed to the east and west by spacious foyers of the event halls.
In 2021, Gmp won a competition to redesign a disused stainless steel factory that would accommodate the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts. The winning project retains the core structure of the 860-meter long industrial building, as well as its ventilation towers, and accentuates the central axis through a mix of social spaces. The firm has also been awarded with the 2021 Prix Versailles Awards for their Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt project, which won first place in the "Special Interior" category.