Located in the Liangjiang New District of Chongqing, this project is the new China R&D center of Continental in Chongqing - Continental Automotive R&D (Chongqing) Co. The automotive industry in western China is in the process of rapid development and more and more car manufacturers are building plants and centers in the region. Therefore, to strengthen the deployment of local R&D forces in China, Continental decided to build a new R&D center in order to promote the development of the western Chinese market and support the growth of its business in China.
The Chongqing R&D Centre with a total investment of RMB 280 million, was designed by ARTS Group Co., Ltd. The project is planned to be built in two phases. The phaseⅠhas a construction area of more than 16,000m2 and has been put into operation at the end of 2018. Among this phase, the R&D center is simple in shape but rich in interior space, which is a case of differentiated public building design among industrial buildings.
The maximum height difference of the site is up to 13 meters. This large height difference in the site requires full consideration of earthwork balancing measures, which was once considered to be a disadvantage of the project. However, with the help of reasonable design strategies, this project has successfully transformed the unfavorable factor into favorable design opportunities.
On the one hand, how can we reduce the workload of balancing earthwork? This project mainly includes four parts: R&D center, engine test building, oil storage station and doorman. After comparing various layout schemes with Continental, the team decided to select the main entrance of the site on the east side road first, which is close to the middle-range height. And then, the test building is placed on the southern side to obtain a logistics field with higher utilization rate. Finally, we put the fuel storage station on the lower corner of the base, as far away from the test building and the research center as possible.
On the other, it is also important to consider how to effectively utilize the height difference of the site. In order to facilitate the access for office workers, the design first raised the elevation near the scientific research center to be flush with the road elevation at the main entrance, and the remaining 3-meter drop was set as a semi-underground parking space. As a result, site constraints were transformed into a driving force for design optimization.
The R&D center is mainly equipped with Open Office and Individual Office such as laboratory and testing room, with a total construction area of about 9300m2.This building looks like a simple combination of blocks. However, a special interior and exterior space.
The two boxes projecting from the main block are the most striking features of the project. On the east of the site is Longzui Park, which has been restored from a former reservoir to an urban ecological park. This park has a pleasant landscape and environment, and is an important landscape resource for the project. Therefore, the design takes the east side as the main building orientation. First, we divided the open office and independent functions into two large blocks, which were arranged parallel to the main park, so as to obtain the maximum landscape for R&D office staff. Secondly, we extend public blocks such as canteens, conferences and seminars towards the park and interact with the environment.
In the information age, people have built a convenient bridge between machines and the brain through computers, making many things intelligent, especially office buildings as information processing and distribution center. However, while improving the level of intelligence, modern office buildings also alienate people and nature. It is human nature to be close to the natural environment. As architects, we should consider the physiological and psychological needs of people, and strive to create ecological architectural spaces that integrates inside and outside.
Based on this starting point, we first staggered the blocks to allow for a roof garden, thus introducing an ecological landscape to the offices. The greening system in the courtyard creates a pleasant microclimate and contributes to the quality of the inter-office environment.
Secondly, a transparent shared space is placed between the two office blocks, and combined with the traffic space, to be enlarged into an ecological atrium. And the staircase is designed with solid balustrades on both sides, introducing the bright yellow color of Continental's brand into the interior space. The creative combination of successive staircases forms a dynamic sculpture, which becomes the visual focus of the atrium space and activates the creativity of the R&D space.
In terms of site layout, unfavourable conditions are transformed into design drivers; in terms of functional and spatial design, concepts such as shared connectivity and internal and external integration are practiced, effectively enhancing the office environment. The Continental R&D Chongqing Center Phrase I project provides a differentiated solution for modern industrial and office buildings.
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