"The leaves are fallen, green, green, fallen... That makes me, when the cicadas chirp in the summer, always stay cool and full of hope."
Since its establishment in 1950, China southwest architectural design and research institute Co., Ltd. has experienced three office location changes in Chengdu, moving to No. 168, Jinhua Street, Jinniu District in 1957, to No. 866, North Section of Tianfu Avenue, Gaoxin District in 2010, and into the CSWADI Lakeside Design Headquarters in Tianfu New District when it was completed in 2020. The relocation of office parks is not only a mark of enterprise development but also a microcosm of Chengdu's urban growth.
▲ 视频介绍 ©中建西南院
In 2015, the CSWADI Lakeside Design Headquarters project started on the north bank of Xinglong Lake in Tianfu New District, south of the city. At that time, Xinglong Lake was being impounded, the shore was covered with loess, and the entire lakeside environment had not yet been formed; the headquarters project has also become an important contribution to building an ecological belt along the lake.
From the lush greenery of the office area, overlooking the vast lake, the design not only returns to nature but also depicts the prospect of the future office scene.
"How many planets does humanity need? At current consumption levels, it would take about 3 planets for humanity to survive, which has exceeded the carrying capacity of natural systems."
Ecology is a crucial dimension in this new scene, shaping the positive relationship between architecture, environment, and people. Office buildings are usually bound to high-density urbanized areas and face the needs of high-density and high-rise development; at the same time, compared with building types of fixed functions and forms, the space of office buildings keeps transforming and evolving, thus becoming ecologically high-rise buildings.
Intending to explore the design of near-zero energy office buildings in hot summer and cold winter climate zones, this project envisages a flexible and user-friendly office space, balancing passive design, active strategies, and utilization of renewable resources under reasonable scale control, exchanging low energy consumption for indoor comfort and adopting appropriate technologies to feedback nature, creating a low-carbon and environmentally friendly internal and external environment.
According to calculations, after the project is put into use, the energy consumption will be as low as about 42kwh/㎡ in summer and about 4~8kwh/㎡ in winter, which is only 1/3 of the energy consumption of conventional office buildings. Thus the new ecological design strategy for the hot summer and cold winter climate zone has been proposed and practiced successfully in the CSWADI Lakeside Design Headquarters project.
China southwest architectural design and research institute Co., Ltd. has developed 12 design institutes and more than 20 specialized centers and studios, as well as many subordinate companies and branches. The positioning of the headquarters of large design companies determines that the scale expansion will be accompanied by the continuous adjustment and reorganization of internal functions and design departments. We need a sustainable development space model that adapts to future needs.
The modular design was born on demand. By investigating the staff size and work characteristics of each department of the Design Institute, a space "common divisor" was found to suit the needs of departments of different sizes - each unit module is 33.6m*33.6m (about 1000 square meters), and the axis network is 8400*8400mm, and a number of 33.6m square units are combined to divide the space according to different needs. The core tube inside the building is concentrated on one side of the module, which naturally forms the differentiation of "service space" and "served space", with the "served space" being open and continuous, which is convenient for flexible adjustment in future use. At the same time, the modularization of space also provides the premise and foundation for the modularization and standardization of the electromechanical system.
In the hot summer and cold winter climate zones, compared with the “counter-nature” approach of closing the boundaries in order to obtain a constant indoor environment, the CSWADI Lakeside Design Headquarters project has chosen to take an active and open approach in order to integrate into the external environment.
The area where Xinglong Lake is located was originally a flood detention depression in the Luxi River Basin. The project site is on the mooring bank with the original topography higher in the north and lower in the south. The design retains the memory of this original topography by means of a double ground floor entrance and a southward setback, building up an image of growing on the ground and extending towards the lake, and accordingly responding to the sunlight, the rain on the site, as well as the wind from the lake surface.
The splicing of the unit modules forms a concave and convex external interface, which increases the length of the contact surface between the building and nature, and enhances the environmental interaction. The BIM model is used for software simulation and analysis, thereby the façade function is further subdivided according to orientation for sunlight, heat insulation, and greenery permeability.
On the horizontal interface, the roof terrace garden of about 8,000 square meters is formed by the retreat from the lake, including landscape greening, sky farms, and sports grounds. The vegetation on the roof is so stacked that making this building a green hill by the lake; on the vertical interface, the double hollow heat-proof triple-silver glass curtain wall, developed in cooperation with glass manufacturers, serves as the first level of enclosure interface to maximize the acquisition of light and block the long-wave radiation of the sun; At the same time, different vertical greening systems are installed on the outside of curtain walls in different orientations, with modular green wall units in the south, and a long planting trough and climbing cables in the east and west, forming a second-level dynamic plant interface that changes with the season and grows with time.
The stacking of building modules is staggered to form a variety of indoor and outdoor intermediary spaces such as an atrium, side courtyard, sunken courtyard, roof garden, and overhead veranda; together with self-regulating measures, such as induction-type electric skylights, intelligent light guides, manual casement sashes, and green plant shading and others, the building forms a micro-environment system with an effective interaction between light, heat and wind environment. With the dominant wind direction along the lakeshore, the building adopts an H-shaped general plan configuration, and the outdoor wind field environment is optimized through the plane air ducts and façade wind corridors running through the north and south of the building. Inside the building, the air is drawn through the atrium, and the hot air is discharged through three skylights to achieve natural ventilation in transitional seasons and reduce the opening time of the air conditioner.
Employees of design enterprises tend to spend more time in office spaces than in other industries. An open and flowing building system not only brings a dynamic experience, but also strengthens the concept of green office, promotes social interaction, the positive dialogue with the natural environment of users, and stimulates the cohesion of the enterprise and the creativity of employees.
The goal of the movement circulation design is to encourage walking and reduce the use of elevators. The vertical pedestrian system with landscape staircases as the core covers 87% of the office area of the design headquarters, making the office space integrated into a place that is more in line with human scale and also a place providing more opportunities for communication. The first floor of the entrance hall is equipped with steps with a width of more than 9 meters, which not only meets the traffic needs but also serves as a venue for lectures and roadshows, exchanges, and gatherings; the connection between the hall and other floors is through landscape staircases on both two wings and a connecting corridor that crosses the atrium, creating an open path that turns upwards and shaping the "dramatic" scene of visual interaction.
The outdoor pedestrian system on the roof is connected by a spiral steel ladder between each unit’s platform and garden path, providing an alternative to indoor traffic. The roof is equipped with planting sites for fruits and vegetables, 1,000 square meters of solar panels, as well as sky basketball courts, badminton courts, and mini runways. And even a three-dimensional miniature marathon loop from the ground to the roof is designed as an interesting project for outdoor sports. People walk through the platform landscape, blurring the boundaries between work and life, and creating a unique atmosphere for creative design companies.
The CSWADI Lakeside Design Headquarters project is not only a poetic expression but also an integration of research and experimentation. As a Sino-US near-zero energy cooperation project, it has gone through various stages of design, construction, and testing from the beginning of the project to its official use. Under the collaboration of a multi-professional team led by architects, dozens of new technologies, new materials, and new equipment have been optimized and integrated, including a series of innovative applications, such as prefabricated hinged frame joints, prefabricated reinforced truss close-fitting laminates, buckling restraint supports, roof solar monopole storage-direct current-flexible electricity system, natural ventilation and pre-cooling ventilation, triple-silver double insulating glass, intellectual drip irrigation system of vertical greening, air-conditioning high sensible heat unit, and independent temperature-humidity control technology.
The significance of the project has gone far beyond the expectation of a corporate headquarters building but is a technology experiment carrier and test case with extensive influence, and a communication medium for future-oriented new concepts and a new consciousness, which has aroused widespread concern in the industry and society. It will become a new architectural landmark that leads the concept of green development.
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