11 November 2020

Designed by Benoy, Alibaba’s Central China Headquarters and Industrial Complex is officially established in Wuhan

Benoy is pleased to announce that our design scheme placed first in the International Design Competition for Alibaba’s Central China Headquarters, a contest showcasing top designs from numerous world-class design firms. Benoy will be working with Alibaba on the architectural design of this seminal project.


On November 2nd 2020, Alibaba Group and the Hubei Provincial Government jointly held the groundbreaking ceremony for this project. The group’s executives including Daniel Zhang Yong, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Alibaba, together with local government officials, attended the foundation-laying ceremony which served as a curtain-raiser to the project.

An international design competition was issued by Alibaba in June this year. Our innovative understanding of spaces and the urban environment enabled us to stand out from the fierce competition. This is Benoy’s fourth collaboration with Alibaba, following the success of Ali Center in Hongqiao, Shanghai; Alibaba Xixi Campus Phase IV in Hangzhou; and the Alibaba Jiangsu headquarters in Nanjing. This new project will create an intelligent industrial cluster of talent, entrepreneurship, work, and life for the city of Wuhan.


Qin Pang, Benoy Director, Head of Shanghai Studio explains the design process: We realized early on that closely collaborating with Alibaba, whose ecological chain is increasingly maturing, is an opportunity to break the homogenization of integrated development projects in the city. We sought solutions to respond to the harsh conditions of the building foundation, combining the closely-linked operational supply chains of Alibaba by utilizing big data instead of merely experience to tailor to the future needs of stakeholders. I would like to express my gratitude to Alibaba for their continued trust in Benoy. I look forward to the success of the project.”

The site is located in the Xudong business district, the core area in the inner ring in Wuhan. It covers a total area of 44,654 square meters. The northeast and southeast adjoin the two main roads in the city, Xudong Street (Wuhan Avenue) and Youyi Avenue, linking both sides of the Yangtze River and other urban transportation hubs.

The general floor area of the above-ground construction of the project is about 300,000 square meters. There will be two eco office towers which are 280 meters and 190 meters in height respectively, with a total GFA of 210,000 square meters, and a new retail commercial hub, covering an area of 90,000 square meters. The project aims to implement Alibaba’s concept of building a hybrid digital ecosystem, and to enhance Alibaba’s presence in the central region of China by driving the transformation of its brick-and-mortar businesses.

Alibaba’s Central China Headquarters and Industrial Complex will feature the Group’s enhanced operational model, introducing a new business ecology for core enterprises and innovative business models for retail. Based on in-depth research of Alibaba’s corporate culture and the interaction between offices and businesses, Benoy formulated the AliCampus concept. Endowing traditional commercial land use with new functionalities, Benoy put forward new creative areas such as Challenge Avenue, Ideation Space, Resilience Space and Healing Corner for the younger demographic, and to inject new energy into the city which traditionally employed vague demarcations in town planning.

We also interwove, nested and reconstructed these space units by applying the concept of a Kongming lock, a traditional Chinese wooden puzzle, into the structure.

The interaction of offices and businesses in the Alibaba hub exemplifies a complex horizontal lock. Drawing on the specific urban conditions and new business requirements of technology companies, we combined the spacial needs of both B2B and B2C enterprises to form a varied and dynamic public space that allows components to interweave and interact with each other. By defining and utilizing the grey zones and activating dormant areas between business spaces, we created in AliCampus an intelligent, unique urban vision for the city.

Benoy is pleased to contribute to the building of the Central China headquarters of Alibaba in Wuhan, working with Alibaba and the local community to build a future-proof urban space and promote the development of the tech industry in Wuhan. The entire project is expected for completion in 2026.

Project Overview:

Scope of Services
Masterplanning, architectural design

Category
Mixed-use, office, retail, leisure

Customer
Alibaba Group

Total floor area
About 300,000 square meters

The project chief designer
Qin Pang

Project leader
Wei Tang, Xianbin Ni

Main design team
Chengsheng Jiang, Chong Yu, Jianying Liu, Shu Xia, Jiacheng Ying, Xing Liang, Yiting Zhou, Xiaoli Zhou

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