Haier Global Creative Research Centre DC Alliance + Snøhetta
Text description provided by the architects. Through 29 years’ entrepreneurship experiences, Haier Group already has been developed the leading brand of global “white goods” and has become an international-renowned Chinese enterprise at the same time. In 2012, it was awarded the Top 50 among the world's most innovative enterprises. Its development direction gradually entered the network strategy stage, and applying new ideas to lead the enterprise innovation in the Internet age has been the biggest challenge for Haier in this stage. In this context, the enterprise needs to create a cultural symbol reflecting the value of Haier, and to provide an innovative entrepreneurship platform for idea-exchange and thought- collision.
The request of the client requires a building occupy 355,000 square meters, which can include Co-working center, Library, Business institute, and a 750 people Auditorium. Meanwhile, it supplies art and leisure open space so that it will be opened on the weekday, among which contains an Exhibition Space of showing the innovation of Haier, art gallery and an IMAX theatre. The owner hopes it will be presented in open posture and striking architecture language treat for city and coastal landscape.
An Uplifting Corner. Image © Hui Lu
This project is located at No. 52 Donghai East Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao, with a gross floor area of 35,500 square meters. Its functions include comprehensive exhibition hall, conference center, business school, cinema hall, mak-er center and expert studio and so on. Project orientation focuses on international frontier and interactive user demands, pays attention to user experience, creates a new space of internet mode, and takes this project as an opportunity to open Haier's cultural complex product line.
The concept of “Hill Top” is inspired by the natural landscape of Qingdao, where the most characteristic part of Lao Mountain is situated in opposite of the blue ocean. The Hill Top proposal does not imitate from nature deliberately, but rather catches the quality of Qingdao local natural landscape and translates it in architectural language.
Cantilever Grey Space at Main Entrance of the Building. Image © Kai Wang
Transverse Horizontal Louver Façade. Image © Hui Lu
The roof of the Creative Research Centre is formed as a landscape, the North western corner gently falling to meet the street and the three other comers lifted up to provide views to the ocean and horizon beyond. The roof becomes an extension of the public realm, binding the building to the city, providing the opportunity for exterior theatres and social gathering spaces. The axis from the building main entrance towards the sea is gently opened, creating a new relationship from the city to the North and sea through the Creative Research Centre.The overlapping structure strategy of landscape roof has been further extended by facade design.
Fifth Facade Design. Image © Hui Lu
The functions of the building are developed by surrounding the courtyard in the center with traditional charm to form an organic whole. The central courtyard not only brings sunlight and air to the interior of the building, but also establishes visual connection between the interior and the exterior of the building due to the uplifting of the building structure, which stimulates the occurrence of communication and interaction and creates the necessary atmosphere for the innovative research activities accommodated in the building. The structure of landscape shapes the city landmark, while at the same time, it breaks the concept of "layer" inside the building to let the space flow up and improve the communication and interaction.
In order to ensure that the romantic idea can finally be realized, technical means of both rational rigorous and cost-effective is of the essence.First, we need to transform complex structures into rational modular systems. A modular system (600mm-based) was used to rationalize the complex form, so that the volume, structure, curtain wall, ceiling system and interior space can match each other.
Exploratorium. Image © Kai Wang
Stepped Library. Image © Kai Wang
At the same time, a series of specific measures are used to meet the great structural challenges: 23m large span, 20m large cantilever, 55 degree rigid steel inclined column connection, 16 different slope inclined plate roof, and primary structure rising to secondary structure, which are the foundation for realization of unique forms, large-scale urban gray space at the entrance and complex vertical relationship internal of the architecture.
The Roof of the Research Center. Image © Hui Lu
Central Landscape Courtyard. Image © Kai Wang
In order to integrate equipment, drainage and landscape, a double-layer roof system is adopted to create the ‘fifth-elevation’ of the building. It adopts all air system and full fresh air operation in transitional season to save energy consumption; the medium water source heat pump is for cooling and heating, which is stable and environment-friendly; fresh air electrostatic filtration effectively removes PM 2.5; all-round intelligent design with four plates and 20 sets of systems... careful design and strict control for every link from design to construction ensure that the project finally wins the LEED-NC gold certification of USA. The whole course of the project adopts BIM design and carries out all-round discipline drawing correction to optimize the space quality to the maximum extent and ensure "just one time".
The Great Steps of the Conference Center. Image © Hui Lu
The Creative Research Centre will become a landmark in the city, a landmark both for the citizens of Qingdao and for the Haier, an opportunity to showcase new innovation and technology at the same time as engaging with citizens and nature.
The Research Center Provides an Open Public Ocean-Viewing Platform for the City. Image © Hui Lu