Huawei’s research and development center in Nanjing is one of its 15 key research institutes worldwide. AECOM’s multi-disciplinary design team — composed of architecture, landscape and interior design — collaborated to adhere to Huawei’s “innovative and pragmatic” ethos.
With mobility, cooperation and interaction as the primary design objectives, we took into account the company’s sustainable development goals: to create a diverse and effective workplace that encourages communication between teams and to stimulate the creativity of each new generation of employees.
In designing the overall structure of the center, AECOM took into account the topography of the surrounding area which is characterized by high hills in the east and low urban roads in the west. This created an uneven ground for construction, with a difference of about 6 meters between the highest and lowest points. AECOM proposed preserving the terrain and integrating the three buildings with the surrounding environment to highlight its natural beauty. Our team used multiple entrances to solve the problem caused by the differences in ground elevation.
The master planning style is simple, elegant and designed with a courtyard layout. The three buildings were made to be independent but also connected. In order to provide a better view of the landscape, our team designed the three buildings in accordance with the terrain and connected them through a set of 30-meter “cloud corridors” on the fifth floor.
Nowadays, the design of a modern science and technology campus should not only respond to the growth and changes of enterprises, but also pay attention to the diversity and richness of employees’ work and lifestyles. For this reason, the “cloud corridors” have become sort of a “sharing center in the air” for the whole campus. Activities such as work training, meetings and conferencing, researching, fitness and other sharing functions are held in this area, allowing employees to collaborate and relax while overlooking the scenery beyond.
Taking into account the humid and hot “microclimate” in the area, the three buildings were designed with open inner courtyards and covered atriums, which effectively improved the indoor natural lighting and ventilation. The large sunny atrium has become an important place for sharing and interaction, making it a working space filled with plenty of sunlight, fresh air and green features that are good for the employees’ wellbeing.
Our team designed the park to be a “composite community” according to different spatial characteristics:
- The basement is a laboratory and a parking lot.
- Taking advantage of the large space on the semi-basement level, the front area is equipped with an open staff restaurant and coffee lounge area with external landscaping, while the back area is where the kitchen and other supporting services are housed.
- There are two entrances on the ground and semi-underground floor, allowing users to enter from different elevations. This area also serves as a display and reception space.
- The “cloud corridors” on the fifth floor integrate training, fitness, conference, a library and other shared spaces, while the roof is a sky garden with an extensive view.
The campus is a place that blends work, entertainment, life and study with complete and rich functional spaces. It was designed to meet employees’ psychological needs of being respected and treated well as individuals, enabling their creativity and initiative to come to life.
In addition, the AECOM team made full use of the natural slopes and native vegetation that were intentionally reserved to create a harmonious landscape design in the park, which includes a variety of themes such as a sparse grassland, leisure steps, terraced gardens and a cascading water landscape.
Through the integration of multi-disciplinary services, the AECOM team carefully managed the entire lifecycle of the project, striving for perfection in every detail, and finally delivering the iconic design in line with the corporate vision.