The world's largest online retailer — no, not Amazon — Chinese mega-corporation Alibaba has selected Foster + Partners to design its new Shanghai headquarters.
In an announcement on their website this morning, the architects point out that an "innovative design process that uses a genetic algorithm" was instrumental in generating the optimal massing and the shape of the modular building that forms around a central public court yard.
"The algorithm combines several aspects that are crucial to the project such as, being highly responsive to the environmental conditions, maximising outside views, and the specific area requirements for different functions, to create the most appropriate form," explains the project description.
optimises the massing to provide the best year-round user comfort in the
central public space, protecting it from strong winter winds and the
harsh summer sun, while creating tailored workspace solutions for the
different departments at Alibaba."
"The desk arrangements, break-out spaces and meeting rooms are all carefully considered to encourage collaboration and teamwork. Visual and physical connectivity will encourage interactions. Natural light and external spaces animate the workspaces and create a more focussed and engaged workforce. Following a modular approach, the design will utilise off-site production for quality control, reducing wastage, and minimising on-site operations to create an efficient construction programme."
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