International competition 2010 – 1st prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz with Stephan Rewolle
Project management Stephan Rewolle, Zhang Xiaoguang
Design staff Simon Schetter, Xing Jiuzhou, Zhou Bin
Client China Mobile
Consortium with China Architecture Design & Research Group
GFA 1.3m m²
The 88-hectare site where a 1.3m² data centre with offices, call centre and attached service functions is to be built in three stages is in north-west Beijing, near the West Mountains and the Great Wall. The requirement was for a highly flexible, robust design strategy that can accommodate sundry future scenarios.
The proposed master plan is based on a central park axis running south–north, with all the shared functions arranged along meandering water terraces. The green landscaped areas form the spine and orientation feature of the development area. The overall scheme is divided into office clusters accessible on foot, each with a network of paths and common zones, by three campus avenues set crossways in a fishbone pattern. Along the avenues, twenty-eight 100m square blocks with green access courtyards form the standard but flexible basic module for the design of the future buildings. The scale and compact building shape mean that a great number of different functions can be accommodated.
In principle, external sun screening will be used on the façades. Depending on orientation, vertical or horizontal shades will prevent heat input and generally give a diverse look to the façades varying with the position of the sun.
With its clarity and rational rigour, the proposed design offers long-term guidelines and orientation for future planning processes, so that despite the many influential factors and multiple phases of building involved, the intention of the original design will remain discernible.