Digital China International Innovation Center by MLA+
Location: Shenzhen, China
Status: 2018 concept
Companies that work in the field of digital innovation – Apple, Google, Microsoft and many others – all have chosen to seclude themselves from the world in their fenced and inaccessible company campuses out of town. China Digital has the potential and the chance to pursue a different path: integration with the city. The design we propose for the Innovation Center of Digital China wants to integrate with the surrounding urban context and connect innovation with a multiplicity of uses.
An office tower and an apartment tower mark two corners of the site. At their foot – covering the whole site – is the ‘cloud’. The cloud combines all other uses: commercial, meeting, showrooms, r&d facilities, community center, sports club and a public balcony to overlook the adjacent park that forms the heart of the future Shenzhen Super Bay Headquarter District. The cloud is designed in such a way, that visual connecting between the different uses exists, while access is limited for the more sensitive or more private zones of the complex. This layout allows Digital China to interact with the urban public in a new and unprecedented way. Products and services can be tested in the spot, people can experience technology that will improve their lives on the go and Digital China can use this different way of presenting itself as a differentiator in its own marketing efforts.
The whole complex has been designed for the Shenzhen climate. The facades of the towers have built in shading depending on their orientation and cooling ceilings reduce the cooling load while improving comfort. The ‘cloud’ provides shadow and cover to public spaces and outdoor work places. Rather than creating a sealed and air conditioned complex, this building has ample outside space where the sheer scale of the complex and the adjacent buildings create a constant cooling breeze for comfort in the hot summer months. An urban jungle on the top of the ‘cloud’ achieves a similar effect while adding a different experience to the dense urban setting the project is in.