The design by architects Meinhard von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) and WES landscape architects of Germany has won the first prize in a competition organised by Suzhou Yangcheng R+D Industrial for establishing an innovation campus for young companies in the high-tech field in Suzhou, China.
The campus will have five building clusters of different sizes with a total gross floor of 330,000m², which will be arranged offset from each other around a park and lake landscape.
Planned to be completed by 2020, the campus will have offices and laboratories for the companies.
The design by gmp and WES has been inspired by the typology of Chinese landscape parks and includes a lake landscape, small islands, bridges, and buildings dotted around the landscape.
Suzhou’s classical gardens are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list as masterpieces of garden design.
The building clusters in the design generate various vistas between the green centre and the buildings, with the gardens at the edge of the landscape park creating a transition from the development to the open landscape.
Between the buildings, gardens and the open park landscape, smaller and larger plazas will be established, and angular building volumes will be in contrast to the organic shapes of the landscape park.
Three building clusters will accommodate offices and laboratories. Each group will consist of two large buildings linked via a plinth, and three freestanding buildings.
An exhibition hall on the campus will be the main address and represents the complex to the outside.
The centrally located building can be used by the companies on the site as a reception area and for meetings. It will provide areas for temporary product presentations and exhibitions.
A conference centre will be established adjacent to the exhibition hall. While the upper storeys will accommodate meeting rooms and lecture halls, the plinth structure will serve as a place of communication, designed for exchange of knowledge between companies.
All facades feature a vertical louvre structure, creating a uniform ensemble of different clusters.
The vertical facade profiles protect the interior from the low morning and evening sun. The design also ensures natural ventilation to the offices and laboratories.