ASPECT Studios Wins Competition to Design Alibaba’s Xixi Campus in Hangzhou, China
ASPECT Studios won the international design competition for Alibaba’s Headquarters (Park C) Campus Project in Hangzhou, in the Zhejiang province. Based on the “BioHabiNet” concept, ASPECT’s proposal focuses on an interconnected network of layered biodiversity, sustainable water systems, and community-orientated workplaces. The Xixi Campus will host over 30,000 Alibaba staff and aims to become a precedent for further corporate parks in support of China’s carbon-neutral target for 2060.
Alibaba is China’s leading e-commerce company and operates the world’s largest online marketplaces for international and domestic China trade. In the last decade, the multinational company has extended with renowned architects’ buildings, such as the Headquarters by Hassell in Hangzhou, offices in Wuhan by Benoy, a second HQ building by Foster + Partners, and the recently announced Campus by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), both located in Shanghai, China’s biggest city and global financial hub.
The design inspiration for the Hangzhou Campus comes from the Xixi Wetland, a historic landmark with an extension of 1,150 hectares and a cultural heritage of 4000 years. Based on the unique local ecological texture, ASPECT created a design proposal focused on interconnected design systems: Water, biodiversity, people, and culture combined in a green webbed network to create a stimulating and engaging campus environment. The program defines three principal strategies – health, social, and work – each embraced by nature with a site-wide interactive technology system. The landscape creates a sequence of spaces by drawing the area’s character with an integrated agenda to support a healthy, active lifestyle, reflecting Alibaba’s vision of a place that welcomes everyone.
The project is under construction and is establishing a strong strategy to build and operate a substantial campus in a carbon-positive way. ASPECT’s approach is guided by the quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from producing, transporting, and installing building materials. Wherever possible, local, recycled, and sustainably-produced materials have been used, complemented by a rich green urban forest and extensive indigenous planting schedule.
ASPECT’S work in China also includes the landscape design for the Shanghai Library East by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Advocating for a symbiotic relationship between humans and natural environments, the design embraces the idea of ‘collection to connection” by defining a network of interior and natural outdoor spaces. The project opened in 2022 and is one of the largest new libraries in the world.